NICE Opposes Sativex to Treat Spasticity in MS, Urges More Research into Medical Cannabis

A draft guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a U.K. advisory board, and a review by England’s National Health Service (NHS) call for more research into medical cannabis for multiple sclerosis and other conditions.

NICE also recommended against prescribing Sativex as a treatment for spasticity (muscle stiffness) in people with  MS for reasons related to its cost-effectiveness.

The board’s fast-tracked guidance on cannabis-based medicinal products, open for public consultation until Sept. 5 and set to be published on Nov. 4, follows last year’s re-classification of these products to enable their use by patients whose clinical needs cannot be met by approved medications.

The assessment looked at the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of most cannabis-based products, including Sativex (by GW Pharmaceuticals). Therapies for intractable nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, chronic pain, and treatment-resistant severe epilepsy were also considered.

Eight separate recommendations for further research were

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