First Cannabis-derived prescription drug will cost about Rs. 22,05,840. a year
A new cannabis-derived drug to treat rare forms of severe epilepsy in children will cost about 22,05,840 Rs. per patient, per year.
Epidiolex, the first cannabis pharmaceutical to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, contains the active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD). It does not contain psychoactive molecule THC, which generates the high for which Cannabis is best known.
GW Pharmaceuticals said about 1,200 people — primarily patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome who participated in the drug trials — currently are receiving Epidiolex.
CBD remains a Schedule 1 drug in many countries including India, according to the USA, it has no recognized medical use. Before Epidiolex can be prescribed, the FDA must reschedule CBD. The company said physicians, assured by pharmaceutical quality controls, would have “little reason to consider non-FDA approved CBD products.”
The retail price of the drug is high, but GW said costs were in line with other brand-name antiepileptic drugs used to treat the same intractable conditions, also the company’s Sativex for treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Sativex contains both THC and CBD in a one-to-one ratio. Together, the two molecules are thought to work in concert to treat a number of conditions. Note : USD @ 67.87 Rs.