Sativex cannabis based pain releif
GW Pharmaceuticals is licensed by the UK Home Office to work with a range of controlled drugs for medical research purposes. Sativex a cannabis based medicine is currently in phase III multiple sclerosis trials and may be available for prescription this year
Managing Director Justin Gover said: “This will be the first modern prescription medicine derived from cannabis, although it has been used in tincture for 5,000 years”.
GW has a marketing deal with Bayer, which will pay it £14 million when UK approval is granted. GW also hopes to get clearance to use Sativex in Europe and Canada, but admits that the US will take longer.
GW maintains control over all aspects of the product development process – botanical research, cultivation, extraction, formulation into drug delivery technologies, clinical trials and regulatory affairs.Cannabis cultivation and production capability have recently been scaled up in preparation for the launch of Sativex.
Sativex is a medicinal mouth or nasal spray for the treatment of pain in multiple sclerosis and is developed from the major components of marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
It would be the first prescription drug that uses real marijuana extracts and not a synthesised form, according to its proponents.
As a wayward youth growing up in the ’70s I obviously dabbled with cannabis; smoking the odd reefer, baking marijuana cookies and playing with the hubbly-bubbly pipe. I have tried it since and couldn’t see the attraction.
NEWS: Canada has processed its regulatory review in just seven months and Sativex will soon be available in Canada.
Latest: Sativex has now been approved in Canada for the treatment of nerve pain associated with multiple sclerosis. Dr Geoffrey Guy, Executive Chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals said, ” We are delighted that Sativex has received regulatory approval in Canada. This event marks the world’s first approval of cannabis derived medicine.”
Footnote: I saw my GP today (16 Jun 2015) and Yes Sativex is now available but she wasn’t willing to prescribe it for me until I had seen a neurologist!
Multiple Sclerosis Trust – Sativex (nabiximols) – factsheet