* Germany refuses to pay "acceptable" price for Sativex
* Almirall to challenge price decision, may withdraw supply
* GW Pharmaceuticals aims to list shares on Nasdaq
LONDON, March 19 GW Pharmaceuticals and
Almirall may stop selling the cannabis drug Sativex in
Germany after health authorities refused to agree a price that
the companies view as acceptable.
GW - which developed the under-the-tongue spray as a
treatment for spasticity in multiple sclerosis - said on Tuesday
the German authorities had determined a price that was
significantly lower than in other European countries.
"Our partners, Almirall, consider the German price to be
unacceptable and plan to take all necessary steps to challenge
the decision, which may include suspension or withdrawal of
supply in Germany, whilst they pursue a reasonable solution," GW
said in a statement.
GW said it expected to make a provision of 800,000
pounds($1.21 million) to reflect the impact of the pricing
decision by the German National Association of Statutory Health
A spokesman declined to disclose the price that had been
offered in Germany. In Spain, Sativex sells for 4.40
euros($5.70) per day and the cost is similar in Britain, he
The drug, which contains active cannabis ingredients, is
also on sale in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Israel.
Sativex has not yet been approved in the United States,
where it is currently being tested in final-stage Phase III
clinical trials for advanced cancer pain.
In anticipation of tapping into the U.S. market, GW also
announced on Tuesday that it planned to list its shares on the
Nasdaq market, in addition to London.
Lazard and Cowen are acting as joint book-running managers
for the U.S. offering, with Canaccord Genuity co-lead manager
and Roth Capital co-manager.