DESPERATE multiple sclerosis sufferer Kiran Narang says it is criminal she is denied access to cannabis-based drug Sativex, while others are prescribed it.
NHS Calderdale’s policy is to deny patients Sativex, but it has been revealed a Calderdale surgery has prescribed it. A mouth spray, the drug contains cannabinoids, extracted from cannabis plants, which can help relieve the painful muscle spasms MS causes.
Kiran, 52, of Bankfoot Terrace, Hebden Bridge, says she is desperate for the drug as she believes it would improve her quality of life. “The pain is constant – nagging – which in itself can be exhausting. You can’t sleep. It’s impossible.
“I have been told by my GP that she would love to prescribe me Sativex but is not able to. The fact that Sativex is being denied for the majority of people seems almost criminal.”
She added: “It might keep the cost of the NHS down but it’s certainly not helping the people it’s meant to be helping. Congratulations to the doctor for taking that risk.
“I think it’s brilliant because it is a doctor actually saying that there’s a need. I do think it takes a lot of courage to do something like that – which is unfortunate.
“But it’s for GPs to be arguing.
“There are enough people that feel Sativex would be of real, substantial use to them but are told the same thing, except for these lucky people who are getting it,” said Kiran.
Sativex was approved by the Department of Health and licensed in the UK in 2012. It costs £125 for a 10ml vial – about £11 per day per patient.
NHS Calderdale rejected the drug on advice from the Yorkshire and Humber Specialised Commissioning Board, ruling it would not be routinely funded for Calderdale’s estimated 300 sufferers.