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Graphic of sativex spraying mist

SMC recommends Sativex for use on the NHS in Scotland

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has today announced cannabis-based medication Sativex will be available to adult NHS patients who experience moderate to severe spasticity due to MS, where other treatments haven’t worked.

Sativex contains two chemicals from the cannabis plant called cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Sativex is a spray used in the mouth.

Until today 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.

Read the Sativex guidelines on the SMC website

Sativex is the only drug in the UK with a licence to treat the muscle stiffness and spasms – also known as spasticity – caused by MS. Spasticity can be painful and disabling.

"No one should have to struggle with muscle spasms and pain"

Lillias was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS 10 years ago after experiencing symptoms since she was a teenager. She's been taking Sativex to treat her spasticity since 2018.

Lillias said: “It feels wonderful knowing other people with MS will be able to easily access Sativex on the NHS in Scotland from now on. No one should have to live a life struggling to manage muscle spasms and pain.”

As part of our Approved but Denied campaign we called on the manufacturer of Sativex to make a submission to the Scottish Medicines Consortium for the approval of the medicine on the NHS in Scotland. We're pleased the manufacturer listened to us and members of our community.

A better quality of life

Morna Simpkins, our Scotland Director, said: “We welcome the SMC’s decision. Sativex has been proven to relieve muscle spasms and their associated pain, leading to improved mobility, better sleep patterns and a better quality of life for the person living with MS and their partner, family and loved ones.

“We’ll continue to work with the SMC, NHS Scotland, individual health boards and neurologists to make sure Sativex quickly becomes available to everyone throughout Scotland whose life could be significantly improved by taking it.”