18 February 2002
MS TRUST COMMENTS ON LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN USE OF CANNABIS IN MS
The MS Trust today welcomed the possibility of cannabis based medicines being available on prescription, but is cautious about the involvement of NICE.
Nicola Russell, Director of Services of the MS Trust said: "Many of the 85,000 people with MS in Britain suffer from symptoms such as muscle stiffness, spasms (spasticity) and pain. For many of these people, cannabis has provided significant relief from these and other symptoms, seemingly without side-effects."
"We are hopeful that this latest announcement has brought the possibility of licensed cannabis based medicines a step closer."
We understand that NICE is to be asked to review the situation and we have some concerns that this may lead to a delay in these new medicines being made available to patients, as has been the case with beta interferons. Let us hope that the process can be streamlined and that we do not end up in the situation where yet another treatment is denied to people with MS."
For further press information, please
Martine Packer or Kelly Blaney
Packer Forbes Communications Limited
53 Cavendish Road
Tel: 0208772 1551
Fax: 020 8772 1552