First cannabis-derived drug authorised for France

January 9, 2014

France has for the first time approved prescription use of a drug derived from cannabis—a mouth spray used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, the government said Thursday.

The medicine, called Sativex, is already authorised in several European neighbours, but had remained off-limits in France due to a ban on any products derived from the marijuana plant.

The health ministry published a policy change last June, opening the door for medical use of the drug's active ingredients.

The first market authorisation was given on Wednesday by the National Agency for Drug Safety (ANSM), the ministry said.

Sativex, produced by the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals, has been approved for use in alleviating muscle stiffness and spasms from MS.

"The market authorisation is an interim step" before the drug becomes available from pharmacies, but on prescription only, said a ministry statement.

The spray's main active ingredients are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

ANSM official Nathalie Richard said Sativex was not recommended for breastfeeding or pregnant women or people with a history of psychosis.

Medical cannabis use is already a reality in countries like the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany and Britain, Canada, Australia and some American states.

In Canada, Sativex is also used to alleviate pain associated with cancer.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday he will authorise medical marijuana use, making his the 21st US state to do so.

Explore further: Czechs award first licence to import medical marijuana

Related Stories

Pot-based prescription drug looks for FDA OK

January 23, 2012

A quarter-century after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drugs based on the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, additional medicines derived from or inspired by the cannabis plant ...

Washington state approves rules for pot industry

October 16, 2013

Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates hope will become a template for the drug's legalization around the world.

Czechs in quandary over legal medical marijuana

November 15, 2013

(AP)—Just three years ago, the only thing that Zdenek Majzlik knew about cannabis was that it's good stuff for making rope. Today, the 67-year-old retired nuclear power plant employee is an experienced grower who cultivates ...

Uruguay marijuana draws pharmaceuticals' interest: report

January 6, 2014

Foreign pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in buying marijuana for medical uses from Uruguay, which last month became the world's first country to legalize the cultivation and sale of the drug, local media reported ...

Recommended for you

Researchers identify source of opioids' side effects

January 17, 2017

A commercially available drug may help drastically reduce two side effects of opioid painkillers—a growing tolerance and a paradoxical increased sensitivity to pain—without affecting the drugs' ability to reduce pain, ...

CVS generic competitor to EpiPen, sold at a 6th the price

January 12, 2017

CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to ...

Many misuse OTC sleep aids: survey

December 29, 2016

(HealthDay)—People struggling with insomnia often turn to non-prescription sleep remedies that may be habit-forming and are only intended for short-term use, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.

The pill won't kill your sexual desire, researchers say

December 15, 2016

Taking the pill doesn't lower your sexual desire, contrary to popular belief, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The authors of the research, from the University of Kentucky and Indiana University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.