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Epidiolex has a list price of $1,310 per bottle. Photo: GW Pharmaceuticals

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

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Falling sperm counts could threaten the human race

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new book makes the case that sperm counts have been falling for decades — and a major reason is chemicals in the environment that disrupt the body's hormonal system.

Why it matters: The ability to reproduce is fundamental to the viable future of any living thing. If certain chemicals are damaging our fertility over the long term, human beings could end up as an endangered species.

3 hours ago - Health

Black churches become vaccine hubs

A woman arrives at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in southeast D.C. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Black pastors have a new job on their plates during COVID-19: encouraging skeptical congregants to get vaccinated.

Why it matters: “There’s distrust in our community. We can’t ignore that,” Rev. James Coleman of D.C.'s All Nations Baptist told AP.

Biden names USPS board of governors nominees, as Democrats put pressure on DeJoy

United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a Feb. 24 committee hearing. Photo: Graeme Jennings/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday nominated a former postal union lawyer, a vote-by-mail advocate, and a former deputy postmaster general to sit on the Postal Services' Board of Governors.

Why it matters: The nominations, which require Senate confirmation, come as some Democrats call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's ouster and others push for Biden to nominate board members to name a new postmaster general.