Synthetic marijuana drug returns to U.S. market
May 20 2006 12:00 AM ET
The Food and Drug
Administration on Monday granted approval for Valeant
Pharmaceuticals International resume marketing the
antinausea medication Cesamet, which is a synthetic
version of the active ingredient in marijuana, the
Associated Press reports. The drug, originally developed
by Eli Lilly, was pulled from the market 17 years ago only
four years after receiving FDA marketing approval. But
Valeant has since purchased the drug from Lilly, and
after updating its manufacturing process and revising
its label resubmitted it for FDA marketing clearance.
Cesamet, also known as nabilone, is already available
in Canada. The drug will be available for U.S.
chemotherapy recipients. There was no report as to
whether the company will seek approval to market Cesamet to
other seriously ill patients, including those with
HIV. Valeant CEO Wes Wheeler says the company plans to
start selling Cesamet in the United States in the next
two to three weeks. (The Advocate)
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