Seoul allows use of marijuana-based drugs for incurable diseases

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Wednesday it would allow patients with rare, incurable diseases and no other treatment options to import and use marijuana-derived drugs approved abroad.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it would allow patients with incurable and rare diseases to import and use marijuana plant-derived drugs.

Pertinent patients should get a consultation letter from a physician and gain approval to import and use these drugs from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

The announcement came on the heels of the U.S. Food and Administration approving GW Pharmaceutical’s marijuana plant-based drug in late June dubbed Epidiolex (cannabidiol).

With the approval, rare disease patients can import approved drugs such as Sativex (tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol), Epidiolex, Marinol (dronabinol), and Canemes (nabilone). Marijuana-derived substances not approved by foreign health regulators will continue to be banned, the ministry added.

Ministry officials said they made the decision considering international trends and the requests

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