Cannabis Drug Available in The UK 

Cannabis Drug Available in The UK 
Posted by CN Staff on November 15, 2005 at 18:05:52 PT
The drug is based on cannabis 
Source: BBC News 
United Kingdom -- Multiple sclerosis patients in the UK are to be able to get a cannabis-based pain-relief drug from their doctor for the first time, it has been announced. Sativex has already been licensed for use in Canada to relieve pain in people with MS. The Home Office has now said the drug can be imported to the UK for individual patient's use. MS charities welcomed the development as a step towards the drug being fully licensed for use on the NHS. 
"This is a move in the right direction" - Mike O'Donovan, MS Society Eighty-five thousand people in the UK have MS. It is not yet certain how many of them would benefit from Sativex. The drug is a mouth spray containing two chemicals found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. The announcement is believed to be in response to enquiries to the Home Office from doctors and patients about access to the drug. 'Quality of Life'  Under the new arrangements, the prescription of Sativex would only be permitted under Home Office licence. A doctor would have to take responsibility for the prescription of the unlicensed drug, which would have to be imported from Canada for that particular patient. Primary care trusts could decide to fund the treatment on the NHS. Otherwise, the drug would cost patients approximately 4 a day. The government has asked a watchdog, the Commission on Human Medicines, to monitor the safety of Sativex. Mike O'Donovan, chief executive of the MS Society said the prescription of the drug was: "a move in the right direction". He added: "We believe there is now good evidence that cannabis-derived medicine can relieve distressing symptoms like spasticity [stiffness and muscle spasms] and pain in MS. "Many people do not find available treatments effective and will now have the opportunity to try a new drug which could significantly improve their quality of life. "We very much hope it will not be long before it is licensed for NHS prescription."  Cannabis Research Chris Jones, chief executive of the MS Trust added: "We must, however, highlight that, as with any treatment to alleviate MS symptoms, those which work for some people may not for others. "With this in mind, we are pleased that people with MS may now have the opportunity, in discussion with their doctors, to access this treatment safely and legally and find out for themselves whether it is beneficial." In a statement, the MHRA has said it did not object to the importation of Sativex for use to relieve pain in MS patients, but said it must be informed if the product was intended to be used for any other condition. It added: "Under current regulations, the MHRA may only refuse an application to import an unlicensed medicine into the UK to meet the needs of a particular patient if there are overriding concerns about the product's safety or quality. "Lack of proven efficacy is not a ground for refusing the import." The company which makes Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals, has been seeking a UK licence for the drug since 2003. It has been granted a licence to cultivate cannabis for medical research purposes in the UK. Plants are being grown at a secret location in the English countryside. The company says it will continue to seek a full UK licence for the drug. Shares GW Pharmaceuticals' have jumped by 20% since news of the Home Office announcement emerged.  Sidebar: Pain Relief: Sativex can significantly reduce nerve pain in MS patients, a study has shown.Researchers at Liverpool's Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery compared the drug with a dummy version in a study of 66 patients.Dr Carolyn Young, who led the research which was published in the journal Neurology, said the drug was seen to reduce pain and sleep disturbance. Newshawk: PotpalSource: BBC News (UK Web) Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2005Copyright: 2005 BBC Website: Contact: newsonline Related Articles & Web Sites:GW Pharmaceuticals Q & A: Sativex Pot-Based Drug Promising for Arthritis Reefer - Mother Jones Interview With Lester Grinspoon, M.D. 
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Comment #4 posted by boballen1313 on November 19, 2005 at 22:34:02 PT:
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So lets suppose i have cancer... and you want me to care if John P. Walters didnt graduate college? Ok lets decide that the morons that flunked simple science are now in charge of all of our lives. Let's suppose they really have god messages sent directly to their simple minds. Jesus H. Christ i want my doc to make the medical decisions. Tell John P. Walters to take another go at getting a real degree... fill his mind with 
reality instead of myth... ask him to get REAL!Reject THE BUSHIES if god wanted us to suffer from bad science its name is John P. Walters!
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Comment #3 posted by Dr Ganj on November 16, 2005 at 07:38:32 PT
Sure is interesting that Sativex is approved and available in Canada, and now the UK-but not in the US.
This is more proof that the US would prefer to jail its citizens, then to help them when they are ill, and in pain.
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on November 15, 2005 at 18:20:41 PT
Raising Questions
I believe this is good news. What if folks in Canada or the UK want to come to the U.S.? Can they bring their Sativex? Can they drive without violating drugged-driving laws? Why can't Americans get Sativex? This will raise many questions and help to expose the hypocrisy and injustice of the war on the weed! The wall is ready to fall!!!THE WAY OUT...Questioning what happened on 9/11: Professor believes planes didn't cause all the damage around the WTC: Professor Steven Jones on 'The Situation Room' - Video Download: Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True - Transcript of David Ray Griffin in NYC: and Internet credibility: the 19 Hijackers - What are they up to now? At least 9 of them survived 9/11: Dutch Treat? 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 15, 2005 at 18:20:31 PT
Related Article from The Guardian Unlimited UK
Cannabis-Based Medicine Given Backing to Treat MS Patients ***James Meikle, Health CorrespondentWednesday November 16, 2005Patients in Britain will soon be able to obtain an unlicensed, cannabis-based medicine on prescription to treat multiple sclerosis and possibly rheumatoid arthritis. The Home Office has allowed the mouthspray drug to be imported for individual patients in exceptional cases, provided their clinician believes they will benefit.Local health trusts will also have to agree to pay for the 4-a-day medicine before any patient can be treated on the NHS. The decision is the second example within weeks of patient power forcing authorities to allow wider access to unlicensed drugs - use of Herceptin for early stage breast cancer was the first - raising questions about how far politicians will allow the boundaries to be pushed over safety and efficacy rules.Hundreds of patients involved in trials are already allowed to remain on the drug on compassionate grounds. It is unclear how many of the estimated 85,000 MS patients might benefit, although some are thought to take cannabis illegally to relieve their symptoms.The drug, Sativex, is made by GW Pharmaceuticals from a combination of plant extracts using nearly equal measures of tetrahydrocannibol (THC) and cannabidiol, also present in cannabis. The Home Office sanctioned imports from Canada.GW Pharmaceuticals is seeking a licence in Britain to use the drug to treat spasticity - painful stiffness linked to MS - but regulators want more proof that it works. Further trial results are expected next year. There have been what the company calls encouraging results in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which affects about 600,000 people. But consideration for this use remains some time away.Mike O'Donovan, chief executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, said: "Many people ... will now have the opportunity to try a new drug which could significantly improve their quality of life. We very much hope it will not be long before it is licensed for NHS prescription."Copyright: Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005,11032,1643617,00.html
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