Pubdate: Wed, 17 May 2006
Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA)
Copyright: 2006 The Associated Press
Cited: Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


WASHINGTON -- Seventeen years after it was withdrawn from U.S.
markets, a synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana is
going back on sale as a prescription treatment for the vomiting and
nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy, its manufacturer said Tuesday.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International hopes to begin selling Cesamet
in the next two to three weeks, company president Wes Wheeler said.

The Costa Mesa, Calif. company received Food and Drug Administration
approval Monday to resume sales of the drug, which it bought from Eli
Lilly and Co. in 2004. Lilly originally received FDA approval for
nabilone in 1985 but withdrew it from the market in 1989 for
commercial reasons, Wheeler said Marinol, another synthetic version of
tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana that's more
commonly known as THC, is made by Belgium-based Solvay SA. It also
received FDA approval in 1985.

Cesamet is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for
abuse. The FDA last month said it does not support the use of
marijuana for medical purposes. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake