In November 2018, the legal status of cannabis was amended to allow specialist clinicians to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products to patients with an exceptional clinical need.
To support this change, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has reviewed evidence for the benefits and costs of cannabis-based medicinal products and drawn up guidance for health professionals and the public.
The draft guideline acknowledges that, for people with MS, Sativex can be an effective treatment for MS spasticity which has not responded to other therapies. However, Sativex is not recommended because, at its current list price, it is not considered to be cost-effective. The calculations used to reach this decision indicated that Sativex would be cost effective if the list price was reduced from £375 to £188 per pack.
The draft NICE guideline also does not recommend the use of cannabis-based medicinal products for people with chronic pain, including people with MS experiencing nerve pain.
The MS Trust is hugely disappointed that, once again, Sativex has been turned down because it is too expensive for the NHS.
- Paru Naik, Health Professional Programme Director, MS Trust
The MS Trust is reviewing the draft guideline from NICE and we will respond to the consultation process.
We encourage people to add their own comments on this draft guideline; you can do so via the NICE website by 5pm on 5 September 2019. The final guideline is expected to be published in November 2019.
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