British company GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis-based medicine, Epidiolex, was approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 25, and is moving one step closer to treat people who suffer from medical conditions such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut. This headline is followed by the possibility of entering in an agreement with the drugstore chain Rite Aid Pharmacy, which stated that carrying Epidiolex in the future is a possibility as long as the DEA schedules it correctly.
Rite Aid wasted no time in commenting how it would embrace Epidiolex follow the FDA’s decision. “Rite Aid pharmacists fill prescriptions in accordance with all state regulations and laws as well as those set forth by the DEA and FDA,” Rite Aid Spokesperson Ashley Flower told CNN Money. “Given that Epidiolex has received approval from the FDA, upon being rescheduled, Rite Aid expects to fill prescriptions for Epidiolex later this year based on availability.” CNN also reached out to similar drugstores such as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, but did not receive any official statements.
Unlike other CBD medicines, Epidiolex will not be purchasable at local dispensaries. Because it is an FDA-approved medicine, it will only be available in stores that hold pharmacy licenses.
Epidiolex could also be more expensive than regular CBD medicines too, with an estimated $200 to $500 per month. Fortunately, the medicine can be covered by insurance.
Now that the FDA has approved of the medicine, it’s the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) turn to make a decision. According to a statement acquired by The Verge, the DEA has 90 days to determine the proper scheduled category, which, depending on the result, would allow doctors to be able to prescribe it to patients. The Verge’s comment comes from Informa Pharma Intelligence, who believes that the DEA will schedule Epidiolex as a Schedule IV or Schedule V. These categories normally include medicine such as Xanax and Klonopin.