Thursday, 15 September 2011

Nuneaton MS sufferer angry at ban on cannabis treatment - Coventry News - News - Coventry Telegraph

SATIVEX was reviewed at least FIVE times by different local committees before it was banned in Coventry and Warwickshire.

It suggests NHS bureaucracy is alive and well, despite a government pledge to slim down management costs.

Instead hospitals and frontline services are feeling the pinch, with 250 jobs at risk as Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital struggles to save £10 million.

National advisory body NICE has offered no guidance on whether the NHS should fund Sativex, leaving each region to decide for itself.

As a result the drug was reviewed by three different local panels – University Hospital’s drug and therapeutic committee; the Coventry and Warwickshire area prescribing committee; and the Midlands Therapeutic Review and Advisory Committee.

University Hospital’s body approved Sativex before Christmas but its decision was superceded by the area prescribing committee which has scrutinised the drug three times. But even then its decision was superceded by guidelines from the regional committee.

NHS insiders told the Telegraph that patients’ best hope was to by-pass the layers of administration by convincing NICE to back the drug.

Mr Morgan said: "This seems like a spectacular waste of money. If they got rid of these people maybe they could afford our drugs and the jobs under threat at our local hospital."