The National Health Service (NHS) in Wales has announced that it will be the first in the UK to distribute a cannabis-based medicine for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
According to the NHS, Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine made of one part THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and one part CBD (cannabidiol), will be available by prescription for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that effects the brain and spinal cord. Sativex is currently approved for use in 24 countries including France, Canada and Switzerland.
A study released in June by the journal European Neurology found that the long-term use of Sativex was a safe and effective treatment for those suffering from multiple sclerosis spasticity, one of the primary symptoms of MS.
“Following the appraisal of Sativex by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, I am pleased to announce we will be making the medicine available on the Welsh NHS to those who need it”, said Wales Health Minister Mark Drakeford. “I hope this decision will help ease the suffering of some of those who have to live with the reality of MS everyday.”