Cannabis-based drug is going mainstream
Sales of the epilepsy drug Epidiolex hit almost $300 million in 2019, GW Pharmaceuticals reported Tuesday. Sales are expected to surpass a half-billion dollars this year as the drug gains more insurance coverage in Europe.
Why it matters: Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved medication made from a substance in cannabis, and it's starting to take off.
Where things stand: Epidiolex got off the ground in 2018, and more doctors started to prescribe the medicine in 2019. Roughly 60% of patients taking Epidiolex are kids who suffer from rare diseases that cause seizures.
- New launches in Germany, the U.K., France, Spain and Italy will help almost double Epidiolex sales this year, according to Wall Street analysts.
- It also doesn't hurt that GW Pharmaceuticals raised the list price of Epidiolex by 6% this past January, from $1,235 per 100 mL bottle to $1,310 — even though nothing about the drug changed.
Go deeper: Pharma starting to see green with cannabis