GW's cannabis-de­rived drug Epid­i­olex fi­nal­ly launch­es in the US with an av­er­age list price of $32,500

Fol­low­ing the keen­ly an­tic­i­pat­ed June ap­proval of its cannabis-de­rived Epid­i­olex, GW Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals $GW­PH has fi­nal­ly launched the rare epilep­sy drug in the Unit­ed States.

The drug com­pris­es cannabid­i­ol (CBD) with a mi­nus­cule 0.1% of tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol (THC), the com­po­nent renowned for its abil­i­ty to get peo­ple high. Epid­i­olex is sourced from nat­ur­al cannabis grown by the British drug­mak­er in the Unit­ed King­dom. In Amer­i­ca, mar­i­jua­na is strict­ly con­trolled on the fed­er­al lev­el in the same sched­ule LSD and hero­in is. There­fore, even though Epid­i­olex won FDA ap­proval in June for two forms of child­hood epilep­sy — Lennox-Gas­taut syn­drome and Dravet syn­drome — GW had to get the drug resched­uled to a low­er cat­e­go­ry be­fore it could be launched for sale. Most pa­tients that suf­fer from these dis­or­ders re­quire a host of seizure med­ica­tions, and a ma­jor­i­ty are re­sis­tant to ex­ist­ing an­ti-epilep­tic ther­a­pies.

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