Multiple sclerosis sufferers are granted cannabis-based medicine by NHS in Wales.
Sativex (brand name), will now be available for prescription to treat muscle spasms for MS patients who have not responded to other medicine.
About 100,000 people in the UK suffer from MS, which is normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
The MS Society director for policy; Sally Hughes said, “Muscle spasms and stiffness in MS can be painful and distressing and so the availability of a treatment that can potentially alleviate these symptoms is good news.
“We particularly welcome this decision considering the draft NICE clinical guideline, published in April, rejected this treatment for use on the NHS in Wales and England based on a flawed assessment of the drug’s cost effectiveness.
“For some time we’ve been aware of people in Wales paying privately for this licensed treatment – this decision should make life a lot easier for them.”
Tony Wiggins, chairman of the Cardiff and Vale MS Society, added “If a treatment works then it should be made available.”
Sativex was first launched in the UK in 2010, but patients have only been able to access the treatment on an ad hoc basis since, until now, authorities had issued no clear guidance on the use of the drug. Sativex is the first cannabis-based medicine to be licensed in the UK.