Progress on new treatment for MS sufferers

by Symptom Advice on May 21, 2012

Efforts at making a medication derived from cannabis available for persons with Multiple Sclerosis have moved a step closer, with the completion of the European Mutual Recognition Procedure.

Galway West Deputy Seán Kyne confirmed the news this week, saying that he had a number of representations made to him by constituents concerned at the lack of availability in Ireland of Sativex, a cannabis-derived medication which has been shown to successfully alleviate some of the debilitating symptoms of MS.

“Sativex is available in Britain and the US and has been very successful in assisting people with MS. I first raised the issue of its availability here with the Minister when several constituents contacted me who either have MS or have relatives or friends with the condition.

“Since last September, Minister Reilly and his Department have been examining how to proceed with introducing such a medication that requires the amendment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 which rightly prohibits the manufacture, production, preparation, sale, supply, distribution and possession of cannabis but unfortunately also prohibits cannabis-based medicinal products.”

Deputy Kyne continued to add that the European Commission had been running a European Mutual Recognition Procedure for the drug, alongside the the Department of Health review.

The The European Mutual Recognition Procedure was introduced with the 2001 Directive on the Community Code Relating to Medicinal Products for Human Use and aims to ensure agreement on the use of a medicinal product that has been introduced in at least one member state of the EU.

“With the successful conclusion of the procedure, the manufacturer of Sativex, GW Pharma, has committed to working on the wording, packaging and pricing of the medication for introduction in other member states,” explained Deputy Kyne.

“I’m confident that the European efforts, alongside the review underway at the Irish Department of Health, will soon see the introduction of Sativex on the Irish market to the benefit of people in Ireland with MS.”

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