NICE has published draft recommendations on the use of cannabis-based medicinal products following a comprehensive evaluation of their clinical and cost-effectiveness.
The fast-tracked guidance follows the re-classification of cannabis-based products last year. The draft guidance, which is open for public consultation until 5 September 2019, considers the use of these products for people with intractable nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy, chronic pain, spasticity and severe treatment-resistant epilepsy.
NICE was unable to make a recommendation on the use of cannabis-based medicines for severe treatment-resistant epilepsy due to a lack of evidence on benefits. However, it does recommend nabilone as an add-on treatment for adults with refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
The draft guidance does not recommend Sativex for treating spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis because it was not found to be cost-effective at its current list price. It also says that, other than cannabidiol monotherapy in the context of a clinical trial, no cannabis-based medicinal products should be used for treating chronic pain due to poor cost-effectiveness.
The guidance does not recommend Sativex for treating spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis because it was not found to be cost-effective at its current list price in relation to the benefits it provides. It also says that other cannabis-based medicinal products should not be offered to treat spasticity unless as part of a clinical trial.
The document makes eight recommendations for further research in the area, reflecting the overall lack of clinical and cost-effectiveness evidence for these products.