UK’s NICE Not Convinced By Cannabis-Based Medicines
New draft guidance from the health technology assessment body NICE says that more evidence is needed on cannabis-based medicines before they can be more widely used. In the meantime, it says they should not be used in chronic pain, epilepsy or spasticity in multiple sclerosis, while nabilone may be used for chemotherapy-related sickness.
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Health technology assessment body NICE has given the thumbs-up to Epidyolex and Sativex, which become the first plant-derived medicinal cannabis products to secure routine NHS funding. It has also issued positive guidance on other products including nabilone, but turned down the use of cannabis-based drugs in chronic pain.
Two cannabis-based drugs developed by GW Pharmaceuticals have been approved for use on the NHS in England for the first time and will be prescribed to patients with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
The UK firm is starting an additional Phase III trial of 450 patients to supplement positive data from the three European Phase III trials it has already concluded in a bid to convince the FDA of Sativex's potential.