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For years, Epidyolex has been listed as a schedule 2 drug in the U.K. Under this listing, obtaining this drug means having a record kept by the government. Now, GW Pharmaceuticals(1) has made it easier for others to consume this drug.

For A Wider Consumption

The pharmaceutical company announced plans to lower Epidyolex(2) to a schedule 5 drug. This enables more people to procure the drug with less paperwork. “The decision to move Epidyolex to a low level of control is an important one for patients, their families, healthcare professionals, pharmacists and the National Health Service (NHS) as a whole – reducing costs and ensuring the medicine can be dispensed more easily,” GW Pharmaceuticals Chief Operating Officer Chris Tovey said in a statement. “The extensive pre-clinical and clinical data that GW developed to support the medicine’s approval by regulatory authorities was pivotal to this important schedule change.”

Better For The Public

The shift in availability is important for those trying to obtain Epidyolex. The drug has been prescribed to people suffering from Lennox Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. The main reasoning for the original classification revolved around THC. Because Epidyolex features traces of THC, it had to be kept away from the public. Fortunately, the low amount of THC was enough for the upgrade. “THC is a schedule 1/2 drug in the UK. But given that it is at such a low concentration in Epidyolex and the risk of abuse is extremely low, then a schedule 5 is appropriate,” Center for Medicinal Cannabis pharmacy lead Andy Yates told Labiotech.

GW Pharmaceuticals has a strong history of changing the perception of cannabinoid drugs by the public. In 2013, the company had Sativex changed to a schedule 4 drug. The oral spray is used to help combat multiple sclerosis. In 2018, Epidyolex became the first FDA-approved cannabinoid treatment for epilepsy. With this new law, GW Pharmaceuticals are continuing to keep their customers’ best interests at the forefront.





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