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Cannabis-derived prescription drug estimated to cost $32,000 annually

September 20, 2018 GMT

CLAIM: First marijuana-derived prescription drug will cost $32,500 a year. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: It’s true. Epidiolex, a cannabis-derived drug, is estimated to cost $32,000 a year when made available..The drug used in the study is the first drug comprised of cannabidiol to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

THE FACTS: A clinical trial at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has shown that most epilepsy patients taking cannabis-derived oil have seen improvement in their seizures. The product is extracted from a plant compound that doesn’t produce a high.


Christopher Kratochvil, UNMC’s associate vice chancellor for clinical research, said Epidiolex is estimated to cost $32,000 annually after it is made commercially available. In an earnings call in August, GW Pharmaceuticals CEO Justin Gover said the average gross price of Epidiolex will be $32,500 per year.

Patients who saw the greatest improvement have two of the most difficult forms of epilepsy to treat, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

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