WALES has become the first part of the UK to approve NHS funding for a new medicine which helps people living with multiple sclerosis.

Following a recommendation from the independent All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG), the Health Minister Mark Drakeford has agreed to make Sativex available on the Welsh NHS.

The medicine, which is the first cannabis-based medicine to be licensed in the UK and is taken as an oral spray, has been approved by AWMSG to alleviate the spasticity related to multiple sclerosis.

It will be prescribed by clinicians in the Welsh NHS to treat muscle spasms in those with multiple sclerosis who have not responded adequately to other medications.

Professor Drakeford said:

“Following the appraisal of Sativex by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, I am pleased to announce we will be making the medicine available on the Welsh NHS to those who need it. I hope this decision will help ease the suffering of some of those who have to live with the reality of MS everyday.”

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group was established in 2002, as a statutory advisory public body to provide advice on medicines management and prescribing to the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Services in an effective, efficient and transparent manner.