NICE issues draft guidance on cannabis-based medicinal products

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
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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 The draft guidance, which is open for public consultation until 5 September 2019, considers the use of these products for people with intractable nausea and vomiting as a result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The draft guidance does not recommend Sativex for treating spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis because it was not found to be cost-effective at its current list price.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.

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