By Roland Sebestyén
Medical cannabis companies have announced that the first product batches have successfully been shipped to France to be made available to patients participating in the country’s inaugural pilot program.
According to a statement, there are three types of high-quality pharmaceutical-grade dried flower medical cannabis available in the pilot program: Aurora 20/1 XPE (high-THC dried flower), Aurora 8/8 XPE (THC:CBD balanced dried flower) and Aurora 1/12 XPE (high-CBD dried flower).
The dried flower is administered with a vaporiser a reputable medical device tested and used by patients across Europe.
The pilot is scheduled to run for about six months and involve around 3,000 patients suffering from severe conditions, such as chronic pain and epilepsy.
Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora Cannabis, said: “The first prescriptions of dried medical cannabis as part of the French pilot program are a significant step toward providing access to patients and will support the destigmatisation of medical cannabis in France.
“This accomplishment is another example of Aurora’s leadership in global cannabis, with a proven track record of supporting the advancement of international medical cannabis markets alongside government bodies.
“By demonstrating a deep commitment to compliance and focus on product quality, we won three of the nine available tenders. If successful, this pilot program could lead to one of the largest regulated medical cannabis markets in Europe.”
Aurora and Ethypharm signed an agreement to serve the French pilot program in October 2020, leveraging both parties’ expertise.
Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, Aurora supplies medical cannabis sourced from the Company’s largest greenhouse production facility on European soil, Aurora Nordic, as well as EU GMP manufacturing and logistics support.
Ethypharm’s French subsidiary, Laboratoires Ethypharm, is responsible for pharmaceutical distribution in France.
Jean Monin, Chief Commercial Operations Officer of Ethypharm, added: “Combining our pharmaceutical skills is, in our view, the right approach to build trust and confidence in medical cannabis for the long term in France.
“We want to be a driving force to support patients suffering from chronic pain when there is no other therapeutic option than medical cannabis.
“With our deep expertise in disorders of the central nervous system and expertise in highly regulated medicines, we are well prepared to collaborate with the health authorities and physicians.
“If positive, Ethypharm will, as a pharmaceutical company, ensure distribution and patient access to new therapeutic cannabis options.”