CBD-Based Epidiolex to Cost $32,500 per Epileptic Patient a Year

CBD-Based Epidiolex to Cost $32,500 per Epileptic Patient a Year
The wait time for patients to obtain Epidiolex after receiving a prescription from a doctor is expected to be three weeks on average. (Image via Getty)

The cost for the CBD-based Epidiolex has been finally revealed: $32,500 per patient a year.

The cost for Epidiolex, which treats rare forms of severe epilepsy, is definitely not cheap especially for patients who are not backed by a good insurance coverage.

However, the cost is lower from what analysts have projected, who previously put the estimate between $30,000 and $60,000.

Epidiolex, produced by the British-based GW Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) in late June, making it one of the first CBD-based medications to get a US federal acceptance.

Prince in Line With Other Drugs

The price for Epidiolex, meanwhile, is in line with other epilepsy drugs, says Julian Gangolli, who leads GW’s commercialization efforts in the United States.

However, Gangolli said with an insurance, Epidiolex could be substantially cheaper than dispensary CBD.

“The cost of a co-pay [for Epidiolex] is significant — or could be significant — less onerous and burdensome than the cost of the product either over the internet or from a dispensary,” Gangolli said.

The wait time for patients to obtain Epidiolex after receiving a prescription from a doctor is expected to be three weeks on average, Gangolli added.

epid - CBD-Based Epidiolex to Cost $32,500 per Epileptic Patient a Year
GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, a medicine made from cannabis containing cannabidiol (CBD). (file image)

Final Hiccup

While Epidiolex has an FDA approval, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) must reschedule CBD, which is currently listed as a 1 drug “no currently accepted medical use.”

“We don’t have a choice on that,” DEA public affairs officer Barbara Carreno told Business Insider in June. “It absolutely has to become Schedule 2, 3, 4, or 5.”

Since the date of Epidiolex’s approval on June 25 by the FDA, the DEA has 90 days to reschedule or reclassify CBD as a schedule 2, 3, 4, or 5 substance.

The trend in the United States to legalize medical marijuana is overwhelming, where CBD dominates due to its soothing and calming effects, unlike the psychoactive THC.

After Epidiolex approval, Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana the day after, becoming the 30th state to do so.

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