The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Bayer’s Sativex (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabidiol (CBD)), for spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The cannabis-based medicinal product has been approved within its licensed indication, as the organisation deemed it clinically and cost effective at its current list price. NICE also updated the MS Guideline to state that Sativex should be offered to treat spasticity in people with the disorder.

The news follows a previous positive health technology appraisal of the treatment in spasticity by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).

Sativex, developed by GW Pharma and marketed in the UK by Bayer, has been approved for use in the United Kingdom since June 2010 for the treatment of some symptom improvement in adult patients with moderate to severe spasticity due to MS.

The new guideline has been hailed as “very positive for people living with moderate to severe MS spasticity who are not responding to their current medication.”

Dr Jackie Napier, medical director, neurology at Bayer explained that the company “looks forward to the rapid implementation of this guideline to broaden the range of treatment options currently available.”

It is estimated that MS affects 100,000 people in the UK with spasticity a common symptom and major contributor to disability. Spasticity can range from mild muscle stiffness to severe, painful and uncontrollable muscle spasms, and as a consequence an individual may have difficulty in walking, picking up objects, washing, dressing and other everyday activities involving movement.