NICE rules out cannabis product on prescription in UK

The cannabis-based drug initially approved for use on the NHS in Wales should not be made available on prescription to treat muscle spasms in MS patients, according to NICE guidance.

Cannabis: NHS use of oral spray ruled out by NICE
Cannabis: NHS use of oral spray ruled out by NICE

In its updated guidance for treating MS released on Wednesday, NICE said the drug nabiximols (Sativex), an oral spray derived from the class B drug, was ‘not a cost effective treatment’ and clinicians should not offer it to patients.

The decision comes just two months after the drug was approved for use on the NHS in Wales. The NICE guidance overrules this recommendation, meaning new patients across the UK, including Wales, will not be able to receive the drug on the NHS.

The recommendation does not apply to any patients who may have already started treatment with Sativex, who should be able to continue treatment ‘until they and their NHS clinician think it appropriate to stop’, according to the guidance.

NICE recommends baclofen or gabapentin as first-line options to treat muscle spasms in MS patients, or a combination of the two treatments depending on a case-by-case basis. Tizandine and dantrolene were recommended as second-line options.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

BMA suspends GP committee election to investigate potential rule breach

BMA suspends GP committee election to investigate potential rule breach

The BMA has suspended voting in part of its GP committee election as it investigates...

Thousands of overseas GPs recognised for 'extraordinary contribution' to NHS

Thousands of overseas GPs recognised for 'extraordinary contribution' to NHS

GP leaders have recognised the extraordinary contribution of thousands of overseas-qualified...

GPs report concerns over BMA GP committee elections

GPs report concerns over BMA GP committee elections

Elections for nearly one in four regional BMA GP committee seats are underway, but...

UK hits 1m second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as campaign shifts to next phase

UK hits 1m second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as campaign shifts to next phase

More than 1m people UK-wide have now had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, official...

What GPs need to know about the GMC's new guidance on prescribing

What GPs need to know about the GMC's new guidance on prescribing

MDU medico-legal adviser Kathryn Leask explains the key issues GPs need to be aware...