GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis-derived medicine Sativex will cost approximately £11 a day when used as a prescription treatment in Britain for greater muscle flexibility in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Announcing its launch yesterday, GW said the NHS price would be £125 for a 10ml vial – enough to last the average patient just over 11 days.
Sativex, which is sprayed under the tongue, is being launched in Britain by its licensee Bayer, following its approval late last week. The product’s approval and launch had been well flagged by the company but the news is nonetheless a relief for investors after 11 years of development and a history of previous delays.
“It’s the first new treatment for spasticity in MS for over two decades, and it’s a product we know patients have long been seeking,” said GW’s managing director Justin Gover.
The next hurdle for GW and Bayer will be convincing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that Sativex is a cost-effective treatment for use on the NHS. Sativex is primarily made up of two cannabinoids extracted from marijuana – cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
City A.M. Reporter