Sativex, an oral spray for people with multiple sclerosis, has been approved by the
All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG). According to the authorities, the
chemical extracts of Savitex, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol are
derived from the cannabis plant.
manufacturers of this drug say that these extracts can be used as treatment for
symptom improvement in adult patients with moderate to severe spasticity due to
MS. MS is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS).
this, Wales has become the first in the UK to permit a cannabis-based
medicine under its National Health Service
. The drug will be available on
prescription to treat muscle spasms for MS patients who fail to show any
response to other medicines.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has expressed hope that the spray would prove
beneficial for thousands of people suffering from MS.
Sclerosis Trust, which supports more than 40,000 people affected by MS, has
welcomed the decision saying that it will prompt England, Scotland and Northern
Ireland to adopt the same approach.
Hughes of MS society said that the medicine should be made available to all
eligible people - regardless of where they live. "The MS society has campaigned
for years for this treatment to be made available on the National Health
Service. Muscle spasms among MS patients can be painful and distressing - and a
treatment that can potentially alleviate these symptoms could be life
changing," Hughes said.
"Sativex has been licensed as safe and effective for people with MS, and
for many people it's their only viable treatment option left. Despite this,
NICE - the body that decides what treatments should be available on the NHS in
England and Wales - has rejected this medicine for use.
means people are either left with the daily battle of painful symptoms, or face
financial strain as a result of funding the treatment themselves," Hughes