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Boiron Enters the Medical Cannabis Business

Boiron is counting on cannabis to restore his health. The change was announced on the BFM Business TV channel. It’s not every day that a French pharmaceutical company comes to talk about medical cannabis on TV. But if it’s Boiron on top of that, then it gets our undivided attention. The main segment of Laboratoires Boiron’s business is homeopathy, so plants are already their domain.

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Valérie Lorentz-Poinsot, general manager of Laboratoires Boiron, has just announced this morning, live from Lyon, that the French company is embarking on the race for medical cannabis. The laboratory specializing in the field of homeopathy has been experiencing great difficulties since June 2019 due to the delisting by health insurance of most of its products.

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Boiron is counting on cannabis to restore his health

The change was announced on the BFM Business TV channel. It’s not every day that a French pharmaceutical company comes to talk about medical cannabis on TV. But if it’s Boiron on top of that, then it gets our undivided attention.

In 2018, Laboratoires Boiron had 3,800 employees, around $677 million (€600 million) in turnover for a net income of around $65.5 million (€58 million). Boiron had 31 subsidiaries in France and around 20 abroad in the same year.

The problems started on June 26th, 2019. Very bad news shook the pharmaceutical group when France’s High Authority of Health (HAS) decided that the clinical interest of homeopathic products was no longer sufficient to justify reimbursement by health insurance. In other words, the health system would stop subsidizing the prescription of homeopathic products made by Laboratoires Boiron.

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From that moment on, Laboratoires Boiron’s sales collapsed and its turnover plummeted. The business press goes as far as to use the term “disaster” to refer to the situation the group has found itself in.

“For Boiron, this delisting is an economic disaster. The French group again recorded a 7.8% drop in turnover in 2020 to $580 million (€513.6 million). A paradox of the pandemic: thanks to social distancing and individual protection measures, symptoms of typical winter sicknesses were drastically limited last year and sales of Boiron in the last quarter consequently fell by 9%,” BFM Business said.

The main segment of Laboratoires Boiron’s business is homeopathy, so plants are already their domain. This is how CEO Valérie Lorentz-Poinsot explained to us quite naturally – the industry will have to reckon with Boiron on the question of medical products based on cannabis.

But something to keep in mind: when the journalist from the BFM Business channel specified his question, thinking that we were talking about CBD, the chief executive of Boiron reframed the subject of medical cannabis and specified that she was talking about relieving pain in particular.

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(Featured image by CBD-Infos-com via Pixabay)

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First published in Le Cannabiste, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Arturo Garcia started out as a political writer for a local newspaper in Peru, before covering big-league sports for national broadsheets. Eventually he began writing about innovative tech and business trends, which let him travel all over North and South America. Currently he is exploring the world of Bitcoin and cannabis, two hot commodities which he believes are poised to change history.