Por: Agencia EFE
Spanish health authorities authorized the marketing of “Sativex, a cannabis-derived medicine to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients.
The Spanish Minister of Health, Trinidad Jimenez, said that the therapeutic use of cannabis has been discussed since “many years”, so there’s “trials and scientific evidence” of its utility in certain diseases.
The use of the substance to alleviate symptoms of several diseases is a very controversial but the truth is that some patients with diseases that present with pain turn to marijuana to alleviate the suffering.
From now on, multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasms from mild to severe may consume this product by an oral spray, if prescribed by a specialist.
Companies Almirall and GW Pharmaceuticals will market the drug in Spain, but before the Ministry of Health must approve the price and reimbursement, a process that is expected before the fourth quarter end of the month.
The minister denied that the medical use of this drug is spreading to other ailments, as it could be cancer, and emphasized that in this case, is “a very specific use, if other treatments have failed, always given by a specialist and for a very small group of patients. “
Jimenez recalled that the product is first used in Canada and from there, has been imported to Spain in a “very controlled” and for a number of “very small” patients.
Both before and now, “Sativex” will have to be approved by the specialists, provided that did not work other drugs indicated for such illness.
The owner of Health said that Spain allows certain drugs can be prescribed, in very specific cases, for a different use for which they were originally authorized, alluding to other possible treatments with cannabis.
“You could study whether it is appropriate medical specialist and when they have failed other medications, but it would be case by case for a tightly controlled group of patients”, detail.
GW Pharmaceuticals has started registration procedures for the approval of “Sativex” in other EU member countries, including major markets like Germany, France and Italy.
For Justin Gover, the director general, the approval and launch the drug in the UK, in June 2010, regulatory approval in Spain and the submission of application for approval in other European countries mark the beginning of the international expansion of the product.
Agencia EFE | Elespectador.com