Epidiolex, First Marijuana Medicine Approved by FDA, to Cost $32,500 a Year

GW Pharmaceuticals has revealed the price of its cannabis-based prescription drug Epidiolex, which recently received approved from the FDA.

The medication, which is expected to be available by early fall, will have a price tag of $32,500 a year. This comes out to $2,700 a month, $625 a week and $89 a day.

Epidiolex was approved in June by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. The company said the $32,500 price tag is in line with other branded antiepileptic drugs used to treat these conditions. However, the cost is drastically higher than medical marijuana-based medicines sold in states where it’s been legalized.

For those with insurance, prices could range from $5 to $10 per months on Medicaid programs and up to $200 per month under some private insurance programs, says Julian Gangolli, North American president of Greenwich Biosciences, a subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals.

In preparation for the launch, GW Pharma said it has completed the groundwork for its U.S. commercial team ahead of the launch of Epidiolex.

Before the drug can be marketed though, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency will have to reclassify the medication for commercialization, something GW Pharmaceuticals says they expect to happen by the fall.

Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for numerous websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be reached at Watkins.MarijuanaHerald@Gmail.com.

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