Healthcare Roundup—First cannabis-derived drug on market; Suit claims Anthem ignored Cigna merger risks

Cannabis UrosPoteko/iStock / Getty Images Plus
Epidiolex, which has an active ingredient derived from cannabis, was approved by the FDA in June and is now available by prescription for the treatment of seizures. (Cannabis UrosPoteko/Getty Images Plus)

First marijuana-derived epilepsy drug makes it to market

The first drug with an active ingredient derived from cannabis to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year has made it to market.

GW Pharmaceuticals announced that drug, called Epidiolex, is available in the U.S. for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 and older. The FDA first gave the drug a green light back in June.

The company said the pharmaceutical formulation is a highly purified, plant-derived cannabidiol, a cannabinoid lacking the high associated with marijuana. (Release

Shareholder suit claims Anthem executives ignored risks of Cigna merger

Technology companies selling doctors information about patients

Doctors that want more information about their patients—from whether they buy healthy food to whether they own a dog—now have that type of data available.

A small but fast-growing number of technology companies are selling healthcare providers detailed analyses of their patients, according to a report in Politico. The information can include patients’ criminal records, online purchasing histories, retail loyalty programs and voter registration data.

While the information may drive better medical decision-making by, for instance, identifying a patient who lacks transportation to get to appointments, no one is regulating the practice, which also raises privacy questions. (Politico)