|BARRIE, Ontario, April 1, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MediPharm Labs Corp. (TSX: LABS) (OTCQX: MEDIF) (FSE: MLZ) (“MediPharm Labs”) a global leader in specialized, research-driven pharmaceutical-quality cannabis extraction, distillation and derivative products, today announced STADA Arzneimittel AG (STADA), a leading European consumer health and generics company, and MediPharm Labs, under an exclusive, turnkey supply agreement, have commenced sales in Germany. As a result, patients in Germany are now able to access GMP-certified quality medical cannabis from STADA through local pharmacies under the brand – CannabiSTADA, distributed through STADAPHARM, a direct subsidiary of STADA.
“This is the beginning of a meaningful long-term partnership dedicated to bringing the unique benefits of GMP-certified medical cannabis to patients in Europe,” said Keith Strachan, President and Interim Chief Executive Officer, MediPharm Labs. “Based on our first deliveries under this portfolio agreement, we are ramping up new products that German patients suffering from chronic pain can count on to meet their individual personalized therapeutic needs.”
At full launch in 2021, MediPharm Labs will provide STADA with eight differentiated products including three specialized cannabis extract formulations with different THC and CBD concentrations.
Since entering this agreement in October 2020, together, the partners developed a launch strategy for Europe beginning first in Germany – a growing market. MediPharm Labs created and manages the entire supply chain responsible for sourcing, qualifying, manufacturing, labelling and delivering the very best medical cannabis to STADA in Germany. Now STADA is leading the way in medical education, marketing and sales using its extensive field force.
Based on sales volumes, STADA is the largest German pharmaceutical company active in the cannabis market.
“Medical cannabis represents a promising addition to STADA’s portfolio for patients whose established therapies no longer work sufficiently to address pain and suffering,” said Eleco Ockers, Head of STADA in Germany. “We have decided to make a long-term investment in this growing pharma market, in partnership with MediPharm Labs, providing physicians, pharmacies and patients with carefully formulated solutions they can trust.”
STADA is initially focused on medical cannabis indications for chronic pain, neurology and oncology. A specially trained field force for medical cannabis is now actively informing physicians about medical aspects as well as the practical use of medical cannabis, prescribing, applying for reimbursement by health insurance companies and individual patient treatment regimens. This effort is aimed at providing guidance and education in a relatively new market and reflects STADA’s stated purpose of “Caring for People’s Health as a Trusted Partner”. More than two dozen of STADA’s sales representatives have been specially trained in the field of medical cannabis to date.
Full API Supply
To address market needs, STADA has partnered with MediPharm Labs as its “go–to” provider of a wide-ranging portfolio of products and services, and full turnkey API supplier for all formats and delivery methods. This will ensure that physicians and pharmacies in Germany can rely on STADA’s medical cannabis products to reliably address the patient needs.
The first shipments of dry flower under the agreement were curated by MediPharm Labs from its network of GMP-certified cultivators. Manufacturing of extract products for delivery under the agreement is taking place at MediPharm Labs Australia, a GMP-certified and fully licensed production facility.
When products arrive in Germany, MediPharm Labs oversees work to complete lab testing, labelling and final distributions.
Upon full launch, STADA and MediPharm will work on innovating the offering for the German market and expanding supply to other European countries where regulations allow. For patient-specific therapy, STADA intends to create a broad product portfolio.
“As this first shipment and first sales mark MediPharm Labs’ entry into the international pharmaceutical industry within a major European market, we are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead as we employ all of our value-added capabilities,” said Mr. Strachan.
The Growing German Market
Medical cannabis has been permitted for therapeutic use in Germany since 2017 and may be prescribed by a physician in the event of serious illnesses. With over 83 million inhabitants benefitting from broad access to healthcare services, Germany currently represents an estimated 75% of the current EU medical cannabis market.
The Medical Cannabis Network reports the medical cannabis market in Germany is currently valued at between €150m and €175m, despite only around 10% of the 20,000 pharmacies in Germany selling medical cannabis products today. With greater awareness and education, the Medical Cannabis Network estimates that Germany’s dominance in the European cannabis market could expand to €1.5bn by 2025.(1)