A Health Canada decision to reclassify, to a Class Two medical device, Tetra Bio-Pharma’s inhalation pipe for cannabis medication means that patients suffering cancer pain may soon be able to claim the cost of the device through their private and public-insurance plans, the company announced today.
Tetra is a developing several cannabis drugs.
A current phase 3 trial to treat cancer pain aims to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce pain for those in the late-stage of the disease.
The company’s CEO and chief scientific officer said the Government of Canada’s decision is an important step forward in facilitating access to cannabis drugs.
“We believe it will provide patients with a financial benefit in terms of coverage for the device and prescription drug,” said Dr. Chamberland, “as many cancer patients rely on private and public insurance plans for access to the medication.
The number of Canadians using medical cannabis is expected to grow from the 300,000 current registered to use the medication.
Dr. Chamberland said the lack of scientific data on the safety and efficacy of cannabis is “a critical barrier to patient access and something Canadian physicians are waiting for before being comfortable prescribing it.”
The company recently announced it is starting a trial to investigate cannabis versus Fentanyl in managing breakthrough cancer pain.
“Coupled with our robust clinical trial program and the evidence we are establishing (this) will support physicians in discussing and recommending this option with their patients,” he said.
The company has also signed a deal with Genacol Canada to get Tetra’s oral capsule and a topical cream into the $2.5-billion market for joint-pain-and inflammation products.
A subsequent CBD supply agreement with True North Cannabis will provide Tetra with high-quality, competitively priced CBD.
The new agreements build on the company’s strong position as a leader in discovering, developing and commercializing products derived from cannabinoids.
Safety and pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers is providing information on proper dosing and a clear understanding of the potential cardiovascular and neurological risks to patients.
“This information is critical to protect public health, and Tetra Bio-Pharma is engaged with Health Canada to comply with the highest drug safety standards,” the company said.