The Midlands Therapeutics Review & Advisory Committee has this week issued the first blanket ban in the UK for prescribing Sativex , claiming that there is inadequate evidence for the drug’s efficacy and safety. This flies in the face of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s decision that the drug is both safe and effective.
Sativex is a licensed treatment for people with MS who experience symptoms of spasticity; it should be prescribed to people for whom other treatments have failed.
Jayne Spink, Director of Policy and Research at the MS Society said of the ban: “Sativex has undergone extensive clinical testing over many years. This decision beggars belief. It is not the remit of local committees to overwrite the judgements about the safety and effectiveness of drugs made by the official regulators. Banning access to Sativex will condemn those people with MS who rely upon it to a life unnecessarily limited by spasticity; a potentially devastating and distressing symptom of the condition.
“It’s a national disgrace that people with MS in the UK are already amongst the least likely in Europe to have access to proven MS drugs. This news will only deepen the divide further.”