Approval of Epidiolex

I am happy that the FDA has finally approved a medical cannabis extract as a medication for sufferers of rare epilepsy disorders.  I think that the FDA's approval validates the long held claims that cannabis has significant medical value.

Now that the FDA has acknowledged the medicinal value of cannabis, I think it should also remove cannabis and all its compounds from its schedule I status.  It clearly has medicinal value and its addictive and abuse potential is far below other medications in schedule III-V.  I think that many new medications will be derived from cannabis if it is allowed to be freely studied and it is medically and intellectually dishonest for the FDA to retain cannabis' schedule I status.

Although it is a great achievement by GW pharmaceuticals to have earned its approval for Epidiolex, it is unfortunate that GW Pharmaceuticals will likely use this achievement for purposes of pure greed since it is the only medication in its class and insurers will be forced to cover it. The New York Times estimates that Epidiolex will cost between $2500 and $5000 per month.  Although GW Pharmaceuticals should be lauded for its achievement and deserves to earn back what it has invested, placing such an absurd price on the medication indicates the level of greed that permeates the pharmaceutical industry.

I am hoping that the FDA will finally treat cannabis fairly and approve other medications derived from it once the evidence is available.  However, it is vital to further medical development that the FDA remove cannabis from the schedule I list now that it has been definitively proven that it has medical value.

Ethan Carruthers