New FDA-approved opioid, cannabidiol drugs will be available in North Dakota

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Two new Food and Drug Administration approved drugs, Dsuvia and Epidiolex, will be available to North Dakota patients.

Dsuvia is 10-times more powerful than Fentanyl and Dr. Mark Hardy with the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy says those concerns are valid.

Hardy says the medicine will only be used in managed-care settings, such as hospitals, and only for critical injuries, like soldiers in combat or severe accidents. Hardy says there's a use for it, but heavy risk too.

“It's going to be a dangerous drug. It's going to have some addictive potential and there's no doubt about that, so it's up to the practitioners to make sure they're prescribing it in correlation to what it's indicated for,” said Hardy.

He says the Board of Pharmacy will continue to educate practitioners about the medicine and won't push them one way or the other.

As for the other drug, Epidiolex, it’s the country's first cannabis-based medication available in the U-S and the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy says it will be available here.

It is used to treat seizures and made from Cannabidiol, an ingredient in marijuana. The state granted an exemption for the drug last year, and the Drug Enforcement Administration scheduled the drug differently than marijuana.

“You want to see those trials and that research done to find indications for products that may be coming from the cannabis plant and to make sure it can be utilized in the best manner to positively impact patient care,” said Hardy.

Hardy says he thinks this will be a precedent going forward for cannabis-based drugs.