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

Czechs award first licence to import medical marijuana

November 19, 2013
The Czech health ministry said Tuesday it had awarded its first licence to import marijuana, months after the European Union member legalised the drug for medical purposes.

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 ...

No strong evidence to back use of cannabis extract in multiple sclerosis

December 12, 2012
There is no strong evidence to back the use of cannabis extract in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), concludes a review of the available evidence on the first licensed preparation, published in the December issue ...

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

Early physical therapy can reduce risk, amount of long-term opioid use, study finds

December 14, 2018
Patients who underwent physical therapy soon after being diagnosed with pain in the shoulder, neck, low back or knee were approximately 7 to 16 percent less likely to use opioids in the subsequent months, according to a new ...

Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage

December 14, 2018
Vanderbilt researchers have published findings indicating that regardless of whether a woman delivers a child by cesarean section or by vaginal birth, if they fill prescriptions for opioid pain medications early in the postpartum ...

Shortcut strategy for screening compounds with clinical potentials for drug development

December 4, 2018
Developing a new drug often takes years and costs hundreds of millions of dollars. A shortcut has now been reported in a study led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU), which can potentially reduce the time and costs of ...

Drug wholesalers drove fentanyl's deadly rise, report concludes

December 4, 2018
Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid implicated in nearly 29,000 overdose deaths in the United States last year, most likely spread because of heroin and prescription pill shortages, and also because it was cheaper for drug ...

Global review reports on administration of children's antibiotics

December 4, 2018
Researchers analyzing the sales of oral antibiotics for children in 70 high- and middle-income countries found that consumption varies widely from country to country with little correlation between countries' wealth and the ...

Opioid prescriptions from dentists linked to youth addiction risk

December 3, 2018
Teens and young adults who receive their initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists or oral surgeons are at increased risk for opioid addiction in the following year, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine ...

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.