DESPERATE multiple sclerosis sufferer Kiran Narang says it is criminal she is denied access to cannabis-based drug Sativex, while others are prescribed it.
NHS Calderdale’s policy is to deny patients Sativex but last week the Courier revealed how one doctors’ surgery was flouting those rules and had prescribed it 19 times in six months.
The drug – a mouth spray – contains cannabinoids, extracted from cannabis plants, which can help relieve the painful muscle spasms MS causes.
MS sufferer Kiran Narang, 52, of Bankfoot Terrace, Hebden Bridge, says she is desperate for the drug as she believes it would improve her quality of life.
“The pain is constant – nagging – which in itself can be exhausting. You can’t sleep. It’s impossible.
“It’s like a having a permanent cramp.
“I have been told by my GP that she would love to prescribe me Sativex but is not able to.
“The fact that Sativex is being denied for the majority of people seems almost criminal.
“It’s forcing people with MS to be criminals because the only way to get cannabis would mean people having to use the black market.
“It might keep the cost of the NHS down but it’s certainly not helping the people it’s meant to be helping.
“Congratulations to the doctor for taking that risk.
“I think it’s brilliant because it is a doctor actually saying that there’s a need and knowing what can be done.
“I do think it takes a lot of courage to do something like that – which is unfortunate.
“But it’s for GPs to be arguing.
“There are enough people that feel Sativex would be of real, substantial use to them but are told the same thing, except for these lucky people who are getting it. It shows it can be done.”
Sativex was approved by the Department of Health and licensed in the UK in 2012.
It costs £125 for a 10ml vial – about £11 per day per patient. NHS Calderdale rejected the drug on advice from the Yorkshire and Humber Specialised Commissioning Board, ruling it would not be routinely funded for Calderdale’s estimated 300 sufferers.
The health trust last week told the Courier its policy had not changed.