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Peru Approves Cannabis-Based Medication for Cancer Patients


cannabis-based cancer drug

Sativyl, a cannabis-based drug, has just been approved for use in treating cancer in Peru starting next year.

The drug is manufactured by a Canadian pharmaceutical company, Verdemed, and designed to act as closely to Sativex as possible. Peruvian patients can now use Sativyl to obtain relief from the symptoms of cancer, as well as those suffering from spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, and nausea from chemotherapy. It’s an antiemetic that can help improve appetite, enabling them to see better results from their treatment.


Aside from these benefits, Sativyl is said to provide excellent pain relief without containing any opioids. It’s a good substitute for the harmful and addictive opioids, which have caused thousands of deaths around the world due to the opioid epidemic. The health license was granted by Peruvian officials in under a month after the Brazilian Sanitary Agency was given to Verdemed to distribute full spectrum 50mg/ml CBD, another treatment that they have been developing together with Clever Leaves, an American-Colombian firm.


Sativyl is made with a concentration of 27 mg/ml THC combined with 25mg/ml of CBD. It can be purchased by the flask with options of 10mg or 250mg concentrations. It’s produced in Canada together with the Toronto Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology. “In January of next year, we’ll have Sativyl on the Peruvian market,” explains Verdemed CEO, Jose Bacellar. “We believe it will cost a third of Mevatyl [the Brazilian version of Sativex], coming up to a mere R$500 [$89.60].”


There Is A Need For Medical Cannabis In Peru

In October 2021, Cannahope medical center and QF Farmacia Magistral inked an agreement that would make it easier for low-income patients to access medical cannabis. Peru’s Center for Cannabis Studies say that medical cannabis would be beneficial for as many as 7 million patients around the country, which is why both Cannahope and QF Farmacia Magistral began offering 10 consultation a month for low-income patients at no charge.


They would also be providing cannabis oil for free.


Max Alzamora, an endocannabinoid medicine specialist and Cannahope co-founder, told Peru 21: “The UN and various studies have recognized that the medicinal properties of cannabis can reduce chronic pain in patients who use it by up to 50%. The more than 1,200 patients we treated at Cannahope have proven it.” He adds that 70% of patients who went were able to enjoy relief from at least one of the symptoms affecting them.


According to Wilson Ccarhuaypina, project manager for the pharmacy, “We are proud to be able to improve the quality of life for dozens of patients who need cannabis and cannot afford it. For each of them, as well as for all our customers, we will offer personalized pharmaceutical attention and high-quality medicines so that they can feel relieved.”


Cannabis In Latin America

This news is wonderful for the Peruvian community, who are soon catching up with the rest of Latin America when it comes to cannabis.


It wasn’t until Uruguay completely legalized cannabis back in 2013 that South America was placed under a microscope by the cannabis world. Uruguay became the first country in the world, and not just in South America, to create a national legal market for medical and recreational cannabis use. However, it’s clear that the United States has played a big role in these changes within the South American legal system; in by 2012, there were 11 states plus the District of Columbia that had approved the use of recreational or medical use.


Back in 2017, lawmakers in Peru overwhelmingly voted to legalize the medical use of cannabis and finally allowed the production of cannabis oil locally as well as to import and sell it. It followed the government proposal that medical cannabis should be decriminalized in order to treat terminal illnesses, after a February 2017 police raid discovered a makeshift laboratory where mothers were making cannabis oil to treat their ill children.

Today, medical cannabis is legalized in one form or another in numerous Latin American nations including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Paraguay aside from Uruguay. Additionally, Ecuador already modified their Criminal Code, allowing cannabis to be used for therapeutic purposes. But despite this, legislative changes throughout the region in terms of cannabis law are still glacial at best.


The legal cannabis industry in Latin America is already estimated to have a $9.75 billion value, with tremendous potential for growth and economic benefits for the continent where 26 million jobs were lost at the start of the pandemic. All over the world, cannabis has proven to be a cash cow and Latin America can certainly make use of a slice of the pie.


It only makes perfect sense to make Latin America a cannabis hub. In the 2nd edition of the Prohibition Partners’ Latin America and Caribbean Cannabis Report, they state that the low cost for construction and labor in this region could reduce the production costs of cannabis by as much as 80%, compared to that in North America. This already gives them a significant advantage.









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