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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Cannabis for MS

9th September 2006

08092006_cannabis1.jpgThe first cannabis-based medication for MS has been filed for approval by British regulators.

GW Pharmaceuticals' Sativex, an under-the-tongue spray, can be given on a named-patient basis, but the company is applying to regulators across Europe for a licence to make it more widely available. It has been seeking a full UK licence for the spray since 2003, but regulators had required more information.

Sativex spray is intended to treat the muscle spasticity associated with the degenerative disease. It is a mouth spray containing two chemicals found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

Sativex received approval for use by individual MS patients in the UK in 2005, having been first approved in Canada in April 2005. GW Pharmaceuticals has now filed licence applications in the UK, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands. The company are confident about new data available on the drug.

A spokesman for the MS Society said it was important to see properly tested, effective, cannabis-based drugs, as "people with MS are sourcing raw cannabis of whatever quality from goodness knows where, and running goodness knows what risks." 

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