FDA APPROVES SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID

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The FDA has given marketing approval for Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Cesamet oral tablets to treat nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Cesamet (CII) (nabilone), which Valeant purchased from Eli Lilly in 2004, is a synthetic cannabinoid that interacts with the part of the nervous system that regulates nausea and vomiting. It has a long-lasting effect and can be taken less frequently than many other treatments.

Valeant currently sells Cesamet in Canada where it has an 86 percent share of the cannabinoid market. The company said it intends to launch the drug in the U.S. in the next several weeks.