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

November 02, 2018 / Tina Reed

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. The legal fallout from Anthem’s breakup with Cigna in 2017 continues, and the latest lawsuit is laying blame at the feet of the company's top brass. A shareholder lawsuit filed this week against Anthem’s board of directors, including former CEO Joseph Swedish, alleges the board violated its fiduciary duties by willfully ignoring signs that the $54 billion mergers would gain antitrust approval and could not overcome wh...