Two CBMPs endorsed by NICE for use on NHS

Consumer

NICE has recommended that GW Pharma products Epidyolex (cannabidiol) and Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) are available on the NHS. Final guidance on CBMPs has now been published and recommends offering a four-week trial of a tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol spray to patients with moderate-to-severe spasticity related to MS if other treatments have failed, and patients should only continue treatment post trial if they experience at least a 20% reduction in spasticity-related symptoms. CBMPs are still not being recommended for chronic pain however on the basis that more research into their clinical and cost effectiveness in severe epilepsy is required. The MS Society’s director of external affairs, Genevieve Edwards, said that the guidelines were “an important first step, but don’t go far enough. No cannabis-based treatments have been recommended to treat pain, a common symptom of MS.”

Millie Hinton, from the campaign End Our Pain, said: “It is particularly devastating that there is no positive recommendation that the NHS should allow prescribing of whole-plant medical cannabis containing both CBD and THC in appropriate cases of intractable childhood epilepsy. It is this kind of whole plant extract that has been shown to be life-transforming for a significant number of children, including these involved in the high-profile cases of last year which led to medical cannabis being legalised. This restrictive guidance is condemning many patients to having to pay for life-transforming medicine privately, to go without or to consider accessing illegal and unregulated sources.”

“Two CBMPs endorsed by NICE for use on NHS“

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s chief scientist, Gino Martini, said: “Pharmacists will be on the frontline of supplying CBMPs and can give advice to patients taking them as part of their treatment plan. It’s essential there is robust governance around prescribing and dispensing, and pharmacists have an important role to play in ensuring this is in place across health systems.”

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