POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Health

Lux secures new medical cannabis supplier



Archive photo shows Luxembourg health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Archive photo shows Luxembourg health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Luxembourg could be about to end the medical cannabis supply shortages after securing a new supplier.

Responding to a parliamentary question on Wednesday, health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) wrote that following a European Open Accelerated Procedure, a single offer had been submitted and a budget drawn up.  

“From the fact that only one offer has been received, there is no need to wait for the appeal period and orders can be placed immediately,” she wrote, without revealing the name of the supplier.

Luxembourg decriminalised the sale and prescription of medical cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain, cancer, neuro-degenerative and other chronic diseases starting August 2018. Approved products are sold through the country’s hospital pharmacies. Initially, Canadian firm Aurora secured the procurement contract. It was replaced in 2019 by Canopy Growth Spectrum Pharmaceutics.

But a growing global demand for medical cannabis has resulted in delivery delays, reaching up to 60 days in extreme cases. Responding to a parliamentary question in June, Lenert said that there had been a peak in demand in April 2021. She added in her latest response that because cannabis is a narcotic, imports are subject to strict rules and can lead to longer delays.

For its part, Luxembourg’s medical procurement body is obliged to follow strict tender procedures for sourcing new medical cannabis suppliers. A tender to find a new supplier at the end of 2020 resulted in none of the bids being accepted, leading to the latest call for bids.