The Department is in regular contact with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England colleagues about a range of issues and has not met with drug manufacturers on funding of licensed cannabis-based products.
Sativex is currently the only licensed cannabis-based product available in the United Kingdom. NICE considered the clinical and cost effectiveness of Sativex in the development of its clinical guideline on the management of multiple sclerosis published in 2014. NICE was not able to recommend Sativex as a cost-effective use of NHS resources for the treatment of spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. Sativex is not therefore routinely funded by the NHS in England for use in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, although clinicians are able to make a request for exceptional funding for individual patients who they think may benefit from treatment.
NICE has been asked to develop clinical guidelines on cannabis-based products for medicinal use and is expected to look at the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments, including Sativex, as part of this work. This is expected to be published by October 2019.