On November 1st the first Food and Drug Administration marijuana-based medication became available in all 50 states. The medication called “Epidiolex” was first approved by the FDA back in June for the treatment of two rare childhood epileptic conditions; Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; conditions characterized by severe seizures. In the following published statement, the FDA has shown its commitment to further marijuana-based medication development;
“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Epidiolex is being produced by GW Pharmaceuticals in England, who despite the high price tag of the medication, $32,000.00 a year, is committed to making Epidiolex available and the CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals has issued the following statement;
"We are committed to ensuring that these patients can access this novel cannabinoid medicine that has been thoroughly studied in clinical trials, manufactured to assure quality and consistency, and is eligible to be covered by insurance for appropriate patients."
Although Epidiolex has only been approved for two conditions, Doctors can now prescribe the medication “off label”, meaning they are free to prescribe for conditions that are not approved, opening the medication’s availability for other conditions at a doctor’s discretion. The approval and availability of CBD is ground breaking and the FDA’s attitude towards further research and development is a gigantic breath of fresh air.