UK Cost Agency Rejects British Company GW's Cannabis Drug

UK Cost Agency Rejects British Company GW's Cannabis Drug

LONDON (Reuters) – A pioneering cannabis drug developed by British firm GW Pharmaceuticals for treating spasticity in multiple sclerosis has been rejected as not cost-effective in the company’s home market.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which determines if medicines are worth using on England’s state health service, said on Wednesday the modest benefits and high cost of Sativex did not justify its use.

Shares in GW fell 1.6 percent in early trading on the news.

Sativex, which is sprayed under the tongue, has been developed from cannabis plants grown at a secret location in the English countryside. It is sold as a prescription drug in Britain by GW’s partner, German group Bayer.

It won a UK regulatory licence five years ago but, as with other drugs, the key determinant in how widely it will be used in the country is the view of NICE on whether it offers good value for money for the state health system.

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