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‘Incredible Launch Year’ For FDA-Approved CBD Medication

Written by Alexandra Hicks

The numbers are in and the first FDA-backed medication using cannabidiol has surpassed even the most optimistic expectations, says GW Pharmaceuticals CEO Justin Gover.

The British-based pharmaceutical company just announced their fourth quarter and total year earnings for 2019, which were $104 million and $296 million, respectively. “It’s an incredible launch year for any medication [that] I think proves that this kind of medicine is really making a difference to patients,” Gover told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview about Epidiolex. “It shows real value to the health-care system, and it sets us up, I think, in a very nice way for what should be another great year for us in 2020.”

Epidiolex – whose main active ingredient is cannabidiol – is used to treat severe and rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. In 2018 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex and it has since been approved for clinical trials in 28 European countries as well as Japan.

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We can expect to see the first European prescriptions to roll out in France, Germany, and the U.K., followed by Spain and Italy, then the remaining 23 countries.

“It’s a new mechanism to treat epilepsy. We’re obviously treating very high-need patients, often children. They’re having many seizures a day,” Gover said. “So the ability to provide a real advance in this therapeutic area, together with the fact that this is the first ever cannabis product approved by the FDA, has together created I think an exceptional environment for us to commercialize this product.”

Following this announcement, shares of GW pharma rose almost 2%. This brings the total cost per share to just under $120.

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.