SMC accepts Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Sativex for multiple sclerosis patients

Around 130,000 people in the UK have MS
Sativex, also known as nabiximols, has been accepted by the SMC for use by NHS Scotland, as a treatment to improve symptoms in adult patients with moderate-to-severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS).
The treatment will also be available to individuals who have not responded adequately to other anticonvulsant medications, and who show clinically significant improvement in seizure-related symptoms during the initial treatment trial.
Sativex is a complex plant-based formula which contains the major cannabinoids THC and CBD, as well as specific secondary cannabinoids and other non-cannabis ingredients. The decision recommends making nabiximols available for routine reimbursement across Scotland, making it the second UK nation to do so, following the recommendation by NICE for England in 2019.
In 2010, nabiximols was also approved by the MHRA for use as a treatment of spasticity due to MS. The therapy was first approved by Health Canada in 2005, and has since been approved in 2019 countries under the trade name Sativex.
MS is a chronic neurological condition, characterised by the progressive and disabling loss of sensory and motor nervous system function, most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. It is estimated that 130,000 people in the UK have MS, with an estimated 16,000 people with MS in Scotland.
“This is an important decision from SMC and an exciting development for patients and their families who have been affected by this hard-totreat condition,” commented Samantha Pearce, Senior Vice President at Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
“We are pleased that SMC has recognised Sativex’s evidence base. This underscores the importance of randomised clinical trials and regulatory approval in providing access to cannabis-based medicines for patients in need.”