The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Epidiolex to treat two severe forms of epilepsy, making it the first cannabis-based drug to be legalized in the United States. It’s welcome news—but patients won’t have access to the medicine until the Drug Enforcement Agency changes the Schedule 1 designation of cannabis.
Epidiolex, an oral drug developed by GW Research Ltd., now has FDA approval to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy—Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—in patients over the age of two. Back in April, an FDA panel unanimously recommended that Epidiolex be approved for medical use, so this decision is not altogether unexpected. In addition to being the first cannabis-based drug to be approved in the US, Epidiolex is now the first FDA-approved drug to treat Dravet syndrome.