Sandoz Canada Becomes the First Canadian Pharmaceutical Company to Enter the Medical Cannabis Field

Boucherville, June 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

  • Sandoz Canada and Tilray finalize alliance to provide Canadians with greater access to high-quality, non-combustible medical cannabis options;
  • Eight co-branded oil and capsule medical cannabis products are available to the 270,000 Canadian patients using medical cannabis in consultation with their doctors1;
  • Alliance will conduct research into product innovation and dosing, and enhance healthcare professionals and patient education specifically in the medical cannabis field.

Sandoz Canada today announced that it has finalized its collaboration agreement with Tilray, a Health Canada licensed producer of medical cannabis, allowing Sandoz Canada to become the first Canadian pharmaceutical company to enter the medical cannabis field. The alliance will support the rising interest in medical cannabis1 by providing patients with medical treatment options of stringent manufacturing standards that are adapted to their medical conditions, advocating for broader access to products, and increasing product innovation, research and education.

Eight Sandoz and Tilray co-branded non-combustible medical cannabis products are currently available from Tilray through Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), including cannabis capsules and ingestible oils. Sandoz will not work in the soon-to-be legalized recreational combustible cannabis area.

“As a leading patient-focused company, Sandoz Canada is committed to discovering new ways to improve and extend the lives of Canadians by increasing access to life enhancing medications, said Michel Robidoux, President and General Manager, Sandoz Canada. “As such, we have taken this innovative approach and significant step forward to be the first Canadian pharmaceutical company to support access to medical cannabis for patients and their physicians who have determined that medical cannabis is an effective option for their health conditions.”


Medical Cannabis – Addressing The Unmet Need 

As at December 2017, Health Canada estimated1 that there were 269,502 active client registrations with licensed producers, with the highest markets in Ontario (110,338) and Alberta (104,272). In addition, Health Canada also estimated that a total of 11,058 medical practitioners have provided a medical document for clients who registered with a licensed producer.

The TOPS study from Tilray suggests that cannabis may, under some circumstances, reduce opioid use in patients with chronic pain and may play a harm-reduction role in the ongoing opioid dependence and overdose crisis.2

 “The success that healthcare experts and patients are seeing with the use of medical cannabis has led them to view it as an effective treatment option for various medical conditions,” said Dr. Blake Pearson, a practicing Ontario physician specializing in cannabinoid medicine and the Chief Medical Advisor for Greenly Health. “As medical cannabis becomes more accepted as an alternative to other pharmaceutical-based prescription treatments, patients will look for medical cannabis products of the highest quality and in a variety of doses to be more readily available in such locations as pharmacies and hospitals that will allow greater access to products and healthcare professional counsel.”

 “Both Sandoz and Tilray recognize that there continues to be an unmet need in access to, and dosing of, medical cannabis products,” said Mr. Robidoux. “Tilray is a leader in medical cannabis cultivation, distribution and research that shares the same commitment as Sandoz Canada to advancing options for patients by offering products of the highest quality and investing in innovation. Our alliance with Tilray represents another major milestone in further legitimizing medical cannabis as a mainstream medicine and trusted treatment option, and supporting patients to confidently access quality treatments for their unmet medical needs.”

A Critical Mission - Advancing Access to Medical Cannabis

Sandoz and Tilray co-branded, medical, non-combustible products currently available through ACMPR include three different doses of capsules and five different doses of ingestible oils. Capsules include: 5:20 (5mg/cap THC and 20mg/cap CBD), 2.5:2.5 (2.5mg/cap THC and 2.5mg/cap CBD) and 10:10 (10mg/cap THC and 10mg/cap CBD).

Ingestible oils (drops) include: 1:25 (1mg/ml THC and 25 mg/ml CBD), 2:100 (2mg/ml THC and 100 mg/ml CBD); 5:20 (5mg/ml THC and 20 mg/ml CBD); 25:0 (25mg/ml THC and 0mg/ml CBD) and 10:10 (10mg/ml THC and 10mg/ml CBD).

Sandoz Canada will work with Tilray to develop new and innovative medical cannabis products, including new product dosage forms and delivery systems suited to specific medical uses and support doctors to address evolving patient needs. In addition, the alliance will invest in research studies to advance the science in a variety of medical conditions, deliver a more robust effort to increase awareness and education of medical cannabis among prescribers and the public, and seek opportunities for public and private medical coverage. For more information about medical cannabis, people can call this toll-free number 1-833-726-3691.


The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that any of the products mentioned in this release will be granted greater access or new ones will be developed. Nor can there be any guarantee that regulatory actions or government regulations will be amended or changed. There are also the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; competition in general, including potential approval of additional version of medical cannabis; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payer and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures; litigations, including intellectual property disputes or other legal efforts to prevent or limit the offer for sale of the products by Tilray; the particular use preferences of physicians and patients; general economic and industry conditions; safety, quality or manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sandoz

Sandoz Canada is part of Sandoz International GmbH, a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars and a subsidiary of Swiss multinational Novartis AG. A leader in its field, Sandoz Canada markets and distributes a broad line of generic, biosimilar, consumer and specialty products.


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  1. Health Canada -
  2. TOPS data:®-Shares-Preliminary-Data-Largest-National-Longitudinal 


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