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Nhs Wales To Pioneer Cannabis-Based Medicine For Ms

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The NHS in Wales will be the first in the UK to fund a cannabis-based medicine for people with multiple sclerosis.

Sativex is taken as an oral spray and has been approved by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).

It will be available on prescription to treat muscle spasms for MS patients who have not responded to other medicine.

The MS Society said Wales was leading the way in the treatment.

Its programme director for policy, Sally Hughes, added: "Muscle spasms and stiffness in MS can be painful and distressing and so the availability of a treatment that can potentially alleviate these symptoms is good news.

"We particularly welcome this decision considering the draft NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) clinical guideline, published in April, rejected this treatment for use on the NHS in Wales and England based on a flawed assessment of the drug's cost effectiveness.

'Ease suffering'

"For some time we've been aware of people in Wales paying privately for this licensed treatment; this decision should make life a lot easier for them."

Sativex is the first cannabis-based medicine to be licensed in the UK.

_76973849_laboratory.jpg

Tony Wiggins, chairman of the Cardiff and Vale MS Society, has trialled Sativex and called it a "tremendous step forward".

"It's good for spasms and other effects of MS - and it does work," he said.

"And if a treatment works then it should be made available."

Wales Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "Following the appraisal of Sativex by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, I am pleased to announce we will be making the medicine available on the Welsh NHS to those who need it.

"I hope this decision will help ease the suffering of some of those who have to live with the reality of MS everyday."

Director of service development at the Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Amy Bowen, said: "We are extremely pleased that people with MS in Wales will finally have better access to Sativex.

"As a charity we have campaigned over a long period for Sativex to be widely available because of the significant impact that MS spasticity can have on daily activities.

"We just hope that this recommendation will now lead to Sativex being more easily accessible in the rest of the UK."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-28810407

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Where the US goes the UK eventually pluck up the courage to follow.. :rolleyes:

Reading the MS support pages this drug costs around £300-£500 a pop (privately).

Would save everyone a lot of money if they could just nip down to their local dealer..

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Where the US goes the UK eventually pluck up the courage to follow.. :rolleyes:

Reading the MS support pages this drug costs around £300-£500 a pop (privately).

Would save everyone a lot of money if they could just nip down to their local dealer..

or just legalise the plant and people can grow their own. Nanny state interference.

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or just legalise the plant and people can grow their own. Nanny state interference.

Some MPs are calling for it, but the main parties are staunchly opposed..

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/13/cannabis-norman-baker-liberalised-drugs-laws-health

Once it is proven a success in the US we'll probably drag our feet kicking and screaming. In the mean time:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/15/cannabis-marijuana-medicine-law-growing

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Once it is proven a success in the US we'll probably drag our feet kicking and screaming. In the mean time:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/15/cannabis-marijuana-medicine-law-growing

Very interesting article. Thanks for posting.

I have smoked cannabis and do not find it addictive despite having had serious problems in the past with alcohol addiction. I find that a smoke before bed is good for insomnia.

My personal view is that cannabis should be legalised. In particular for people who use it medicinally who prefer the real thing rather than a pharmaceutical drug. Can't see it happening though in the UK.

I think that the substance that causes the most problems in society is alcohol.

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The reason for the recommendation is because the randomised controlled trials looking at sativex (the cannabis extract discussed) show that it doesn't do anything.

Most of the trials done are of terrible quality, with severe methodological flaws and severe bias. Some of them are so bad, that not only should they not have been published, but I don't see how they even got ethical approval to run the trials, as the methods used are a joke.

In general, the trials show no difference in things such as walking speed, quality of life score, subjective questionnaires about symptoms, etc.

To get around this, the 2nd generation of trials, pre-selected patients who were "known responders". They gave a few weeks-months of trial drug, and filtered out those that did not improve. They then randomised them into "continue" and "placebo" groups. Again, the majority of the trials show no difference between continuation and placebo.

Given the fact that the evidence is so strongly stacked against this particular product, I can't see any justification for continuing to pay for it out of taxpayers' money, except in the context of a clinical trial.

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Never going to happen. One company has a monopoly and it will be strictly monitored. There is no way in hell our country with such a reliance on alcohol, oil, tobacco and symptoms medicines will allow it to be used properly ever; regardless of medicinal effects. Plus there is that whole cancer business that would take a hit. Thats why doctors go on tv saying it has no proven medicinal benefit because its such a threat to their business. The biggest objector will be oil though because everything is petroleum based these days. Those plastic bags flying about in the streets, they could be hemp.

Even a whiff of public support for it will lead to alienation in the press, they have massive lobbying practices going on against it.

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The reason for the recommendation is because the randomised controlled trials looking at sativex (the cannabis extract discussed) show that it doesn't do anything.

Interesting.. odd that they managed to make a pharmaceutical product with none of the (reported) benefits of the original source. I understood the illicit/unadulterated version was quite widely used amongst MS and arthritis sufferers with pretty good results.

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Interesting.. odd that they managed to make a pharmaceutical product with none of the (reported) benefits of the original source. I understood the illicit/unadulterated version was quite widely used amongst MS and arthritis sufferers with pretty good results.

The same purported benefits are anecdotally reported for sativex users, but the effect is not reliably replicable in controlled trials (it shows up weakly in some trials, but not in others, and tends to show up mainly in the least controlled trials)

Considering sativex is a highly purified 52:48 mixture of THC and cannabidiol (the 2 major active components of cannabis), it seems that either the anecdotal effects of both are exaggerated or that it's not the THC/cannabidiol that are the beneficial components of cannabis (i.e. it is some other minor component)

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I was at a gig the other day mostly frequented by middle aged men, all knocking the booze into them.

One bloke after another walking past with man boobs and some with bellies so big that their backs were arched supporting the weight of them.

So you can drink all you want, and eat as much junkfood as you want - heck we even make these things easy to maintain - knowing the damage that they do over time ..... yet cannibis is a no-no?

Crazy world we live in...

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I was at a gig the other day mostly frequented by middle aged men, all knocking the booze into them.

One bloke after another walking past with man boobs and some with bellies so big that their backs were arched supporting the weight of them.

So you can drink all you want, and eat as much junkfood as you want - heck we even make these things easy to maintain - knowing the damage that they do over time ..... yet cannibis is a no-no?

Crazy world we live in...

Quite. +1

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So you can drink all you want, and eat as much junkfood as you want - heck we even make these things easy to maintain - knowing the damage that they do over time ..... yet cannibis is a no-no?

Crazy world we live in...

That's politicians for you.

In 2009, the government sought expert advice from scientists, doctors, psychologists, etc. about the classification of cannabis. Knowing some of the people on this panel personally, while they are not permitted to tell me what the recommendation was, they have dropped enough hints to suggest that it the polar opposite of what the government actually did.

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Interesting.. odd that they managed to make a pharmaceutical product with none of the (reported) benefits of the original source. I understood the illicit/unadulterated version was quite widely used amongst MS and arthritis sufferers with pretty good results.

yes it is,

one of my former work colleagues was wheelchair-bound with MS, and he used to be firmly of the opionion that the only effective pain relief he got was when he'd been at the rastafarian roll-ups.

don't have a problem with medicalisation of this, just not at £500 a pop.

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The same purported benefits are anecdotally reported for sativex users, but the effect is not reliably replicable in controlled trials (it shows up weakly in some trials, but not in others, and tends to show up mainly in the least controlled trials)

Considering sativex is a highly purified 52:48 mixture of THC and cannabidiol (the 2 major active components of cannabis), it seems that either the anecdotal effects of both are exaggerated or that it's not the THC/cannabidiol that are the beneficial components of cannabis (i.e. it is some other minor component)

I assume the manufactured pill doesn't give a high and it's the high that gives the relief.

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