Toronto-headquartered Ramm Pharma, a company with medical cannabis manufacturing operations in Uruguay, said the Peruvian Ministry of Health approved its Epifractán 5% CBD product “for sale in pharmacies throughout the country for various indications as prescribed by a medical doctor.”
The news underscores the limited but increasing Latin American intraregional medical cannabis trade, independent from North American cannabis production.
Ramm Pharma “entered into an agreement with CannFarm Peru S.A.C. to distribute its products throughout Peru,” the company said in a news release.
The only other registered “cannabis-derived natural health product” – a category created by Peruvian regulations – belongs to Canada-based Canopy Growth and also has CBD as the active ingredient.
Niklaus Schwenker, director of communications and strategy for Canopy Growth Latin America, told Marijuana Business Daily that Peru “has one of the most advanced regulations for cannabis in Latin America and is a priority for the Canopy Growth in the region.”
With product approval already in place, the company expects to “serve Peruvian patients in the near term while continuing its physician-education activities through the Spectrum Academy,” Schwenker said.
Companies with registered products must obtain the necessary import permits to be able to receive the shipments and distribute to pharmacies around the country, Andres Vazquez Vargas, CEO of CannFarm Peru, told MJBizDaily.
“After obtaining the import permit, we expect to receive the first shipment from Uruguay and start distributing to patients in Peru in the next weeks,” Vazquez said.
The product to be imported by CannFarm is registered in Uruguay by the correspondent Ministry of Health and has been available in pharmacies under prescription since 2018.
Ramm Pharma, the producer, has a Good Manufacturing Practice certification from the Uruguayan Ministry of Health.
The company currently exports from Uruguay to neighboring countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, under “compassionate use” programs, which generally means the products must be shipped case-by-case to specific authorized patients.
As of July 10, the public database of the Peruvian health authority showed 17 product registrations were submitted by six companies and were pending approval.
This is in addition to Sativex, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom, which was approved as a cannabis-derived pharmaceutical but is still not being commercialized, according to local sources.
As of early July, only a CBD product was available for patients in Peru, and it is sold by the Peruvian General Directorate of Medicines, Supplies and Drugs (DIGEMID) in only one pharmacy in the country. That pharmacy is run by the health agency.
That product was bought by the country health authority through two different supply tenders.
Alfredo Pascual can be reached at email@example.com