Irish doctors will soon be able to prescribe Canadian cannabis products to patients with treatment-resistant conditions.
Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (TSX: ACB and NYSE: ACB) announced Monday its high CBD oil was approved under Ireland’s trial Medical Cannabis Access Program (MCAP), bringing its total number of cannabis products available for patients to two.
The program, launched June 2019, is designed to help patients with multiple sclerosis, side effects of chemotherapy, and severe epilepsy, access medical cannabis if traditional treatments haven’t helped them. The program will run as a pilot for five years.
Ireland doesn’t grow any cannabis of its own so the program is being supplied by international companies whose products meet the MCAP requirements.
“We are very proud to be one of the first approved suppliers of medical cannabis under the MCAP,” Aurora chief product officer Shane Morris said in a statement.
“We want to acknowledge the efforts made by many people, especially the patients and doctors who have campaigned for access to these medicines … We will continue to work closely with all parties and state agencies to facilitate further availability,” he said, adding he hopes Ireland approves more medical-grade Aurora products.
Despite the Irish stamp of approval, investors remained cool towards Aurora’s stocks, which dropped by three per cent on Monday to $3.22 per share.
European countries warming to medical cannabis
Ireland is not the only European country moving towards a wider acceptance of the potential benefits of medical cannabis.
The European Union recently greenlit the sale of Epidyolex, made by GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH), which is used to help treat seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
In November 2019, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service also approved the use of Epidyolex and GW Pharma’s Sativex, which is used to help treat spasticity or muscle stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis.
Read more: U.K. approves 2 cannabis-based medicines