EmpowerPharm today announced they have been certified to manufacture products containing cannabidiol (CBD) to prescription drug standards – a Canadian first.
They have been granted a Drug Establishment Licence (DEL) by Health Canada for their new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Burlington, Ontario. With this licence, EmpowerPharm is now certified as compliant with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. They have previously received a Cannabis Drug Licence, a Standard Processing Licence and a Cannabis Research Licence.
With this new Health Canada licence, EmpowerPharm is well positioned to disrupt the pharmaceutical sector through further investment in its R&D. Healthcare practitioners and governments have long called for scientific evidence to support cannabis-based pharmaceutical products for therapeutic use.
Clinical Trials to Substantiate Empower CBD™ to Treat Anxiety
Clinical trials are underway to provide scientific evidence to support the safety, efficacy, and quality of Empower CBD™ as a prescription medication indicated for anxiety, administered by prescription under the direction of a qualified physician.
None of the cannabis products currently on the market used for anxiety are approved as prescription medicines by Health Canada, lacking the associated clinical evidence, prescribing information, standardized dosing and quality, product labelling and other important information for prescribers consistent with the highly regulated pharmaceutical sector.
EmpowerPharm’s intended use of synthetic CBD as its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) will ensure that their products are manufactured consistently to provide 99% CBD. This will provide quality assurances that products will not contain THC or any other unwanted cannabinoids that plant-based extracts may contain. Empower CBD™ will be manufactured and tested according to established pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and will meet all regulatory requirements for API including product identity, potency, and purity.
Protecting Canadians against the next pandemic: Record spike in anxiety and depression
According to the Canadian Mental Health Commission, Canadians are facing a spike in anxiety due to COVID-19, and the effects will remain for years into the recovery effort. Results from a poll undertaken by Mental Health Research Canada in February 2021, demonstrate that 25% of Canadians self-report or have been diagnosed with anxiety – the highest levels of anxiety to date.1
Anxiety may prove to be a long-term challenge. Modelling undertaken by Deloitte projects mental health impacts due to COVID-19 may endure up to ten years in Canada. Even once the pandemic subsides, Deloitte projects a twofold increase in visits to mental health professionals for anxiety- related issues, and possibly a 20% increase in prescriptions for antidepressants, relative to pre- COVID levels. These challenges will impact women in particular, given their disproportionate employment in the service sector and low-income households.2
Based on Health Canada’s own Drug Establishment Licence (DEL) database, there are only five (5) Canadian-owned pharmaceutical manufacturers certified to manufacture oral dose prescription medicines to treat diseases, disorders, or abnormal physical states – four of which were established over four decades ago.3 Pandemic supply shortages in vaccines and the ongoing challenge of drug shortages for other products have illuminated why it has never been more important for Canada to build capacity in critical areas of pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing.