More than six months after being approved by the FDA, the DEA has finally approved Insys’ new drug Syndros, a synthetic cannabinoid pharmaceutical drug, for Schedule II. Meanwhile, cannabis is still stuck under the dreaded Schedule I. Syndros will primarily be used to treat patients suffering from cancer and other terminal diseases, and is similar to the drug Marinol.
It’s been quite a battle for the people at Insys to get their drug approved. They initially submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) three years ago, but received some pushback from the FDA. The FDA finally approved Syndros last summer, but Insys still needed approval from the DEA, who usually seems more content to twiddle their thumbs, than approve anything even remotely related to cannabis.
Insys originally asked for Schedule IV, but that got rejected pretty quickly, and it caused further delays in getting Syndros approved. It’s worth noting that Syndros’ closest counterpart Marinol, is Schedule III.
Schedule II is still a bit of a problem, but we can all agree that it’s better than Schedule I, where cannabis seems doomed to reside for the next 4-8 years. While I have no doubt that Syndros will help a lot of people, it surely can’t compare to the real thing. It goes to show you how the DEA and the FDA are much more open to pharmaceutical drugs than they are cannabis.
If cannabis were legal, then there would of course be no need for Syndros or other synthetic cannabinoid drugs, as well as many of the other drugs out on the market. Hence, the reason why cannabis is still illegal on a federal level in the US.
Insys will now be working with the FDA to get Syndros ready to be released to the public later on this year.
Image Source: NPR
What do you think? Can synthetic cannabinoids ever do as well as the real thing? Share in the comments!