Leandro Centomo

Brazil Healthcare Regulator Signs Off on Sativex Sales

Brazilian healthcare regulator ANVISA has issued the nation’s first license for the sale of a cannabis-based drug as São Paulo-based Beaufour Ipsen Farmacêutica Ltda has been given the green light to distribute the oral spray Sativex, according to a Reuters report.

The product, used to treat multiple sclerosis, is developed by British pharmaceutical firm GW Pharmaceuticals PLC ad will be sold under the brand name Mevatyl in the South American country. The drug is already available in 28 other countries.

Following several court cases by patients attempting to receive medical cannabis treatment in Brazil, ANVISA has relaxed their rules over the last two years, allowing some patients to personally import cannabis-derived drugs. ANVISA has allowed case-by-case importation of Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s Real Scientific Hemp Oil product for treating cancer and Parkinson’s disease. The cost of the RSHO is subsidized under the federal government healthcare system. In 2015 the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency reclassified CBD as “controlled” rather than illegal, authorizing its use as a treatment for severe seizures.

The nation decriminalized growing and possessing cannabis more than 10 years ago, but buying and selling cannabis remains illegal. In 2013, Uruguay, which borders Brazil, legalized the cultivation, distribution and consumption of cannabis, which is sold in pharmacies.

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