Sativex is a cannabis based spray. It has been approved across the UK to treat 'moderate' to 'severe' spasticity when other treatments haven’t worked. 

Many people with MS are still being denied access to Sativex because their local health bodies aren't prescribing it. This has resulted in an unacceptable postcode lottery.

We launched our Approved but Denied campaign in August 2021 to improve access to Sativex for eligible patients. Back then, Sativex was funded in only 49 out of 106 local health bodies called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Over 2000 of you joined our call for change and took action to ask your local CCG to start prescribing Sativex. Every CCG in England which was not prescribing Sativex has now been contacted by campaigners. We briefed 345 MPs about the issue in their area, and mobilised dozens of them to take up the case.

What’s happened since we launched our campaign?

One year on, we’ve seen some great results! By June 2022, the number of CCGs who state they routinely fund Sativex increased by 45%. A list of these CCGs is at the bottom of this page.

Jump to CCGs list

But we know there’s still more to do. We want Sativex to be available to everyone who's eligible. We’re planning the next stage of the campaign for next year.

We’re also aware that local NHS structures have changed. In July this year, new NHS bodies called Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) replaced CCGs, which were legally dissolved.

We hope these changes won’t affect access to Sativex, but we'll continue to monitor the situation.

What does this mean for people with MS?

Your old CCG might've made the decision to fund Sativex for eligible patients. If this applies to you, it may be worth talking to your healthcare professional about whether you're suitable for treatment.

Find your old CCG on the NHS' website

See how CCGs are matched with new ICSs on the NHS' website

It’s important to remember that Sativex doesn’t work for everyone. But when it does, the impact can be life changing. Our Sativex report explores this in more detail.

Download our Sativex report (2.7MB)

Take action

You can still help eligible people with MS access Sativex across the UK. Find out if Sativex is available in your area.

If it isn't, you can email your local health body, called an Integrated Care Board (ICB), to ask them to prescribe this potentially life-changing drug.

Take our Sativex action

What about access to Sativex in other UK nations?

Wales

Sativex has been approved for use on the NHS in Wales since 2014. We’re still working with Health Boards to make sure services for people with MS are available as the NHS builds back from the impact of the pandemic. If you’d like to share with us your experience of trying to access Sativex, please email [email protected].

Northern Ireland

Sativex was approved for use in April 2021. Our monitoring suggests people with MS who meet the criteria are being offered the treatment after discussing with their consultant. If you're having any issues accessing Sativex, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Scotland

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) announced on Monday 12 September that Sativex will be available to adult NHS patients who experience moderate to severe spasticity due to MS, where other treatments haven’t worked.

Before the announcement, Sativex was approved for use on the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland. Although a limited number of people have been able to access it via the Peer Approved Clinical System (PACS) Tier 2 individual patient treatment request process.

It may now be worth reopening conversations with your healthcare provider if you live in Scotland and have previously been denied access to Sativex.

Join our #ApprovedButDenied campaign

List of NHS England CCGs who've added Sativex to the list of medicines they routinely fund for eligible patients, since May 2021

  1. NHS Brighton and Hove CCG
  2. NHS Buckinghamshire CCG
  3. NHS Cheshire CCG
  4. NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG
  5. NHS East Sussex CCG
  6. NHS Frimley CCG
  7. NHS Hull CCG
  8. NHS Kent and Medway CCG
  9. NHS Lincolnshire CCG
  10. NHS Morecambe Bay CCG
  11. NHS North East Essex CCG
  12. NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG
  13. NHS North Lincolnshire CCG
  14. NHS Northamptonshire CCG
  15. NHS Oxfordshire CCG
  16. NHS Rotherham CCG
  17. NHS Sheffield CCG
  18. NHS Somerset CCG
  19. NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG
  20. NHS West Essex CCG
  21. NHS West Lancashire CCG
  22. NHS West Sussex CCG

NHS England CCGs who added Sativex to the list of medicines they routinely fund for eligible patients before May 2021

  1. NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG
  2. NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG
  3. NHS Blackpool CCG
  4. NHS Bury CCG
  5. NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG
  6. NHS County Durham CCG
  7. NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG
  8. NHS Devon CCG
  9. NHS Dorset CCG
  10. NHS East Lancashire CCG
  11. NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG
  12. NHS Gloucestershire CCG
  13. NHS Greater Preston CCG
  14. NHS Halton CCG
  15. NHS Herts Valleys CCG
  16. NHS Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale CCG
  17. NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG
  18. NHS Kernow CCG
  19. NHS Knowsley CCG
  20. NHS Liverpool CCG
  21. NHS Manchester CCG
  22. NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG
  23. NHS North Central London CCG
  24. NHS North Tyneside CCG
  25. NHS North West London CCG
  26. NHS North Yorkshire CCG
  27. NHS Northumberland CCG
  28. NHS Oldham CCG
  29. NHS Portsmouth CCG
  30. NHS Salford CCG
  31. NHS South East London CCG
  32. NHS South Sefton CCG
  33. NHS South Tyneside CCG
  34. NHS South West London CCG
  35. NHS Southport and Formby CCG
  36. NHS St Helens CCG
  37. NHS Stockport CCG
  38. NHS Sunderland CCG
  39. NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG
  40. NHS Tees Valley CCG
  41. NHS Trafford CCG
  42. NHS Vale of York CCG
  43. NHS Warrington CCG
  44. NHS West Suffolk CCG
  45. NHS Wigan Borough CCG
  46. NHS Wirral CCG
  47. NHS North Cumbria CCG
  48. NHS Bolton CCG
  49. NHS Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight CCG

Find out how to campaign with us