HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Cannabis Spray Gets Go-ahead
Pubdate: Tue, 19 Apr 2005
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2005, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Tavia Grant
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Canada is the first country in the world to approve a cannabis spray that 
relieves pain in people with multiple sclerosis, Health Canada said Tuesday.

The announcement sent shares of the U.K. maker of the drug, GW 
Pharmaceuticals Plc, up as much as 14 per cent in London. Bayer AG will 
market the drug in Canada.

Sativex, which is administered through a spray in the mouth, relieves pain 
in patients that suffer from MS, the government agency said. It's expected 
to hit the shelves by late spring.

"Effective pain control and management are extremely important in a disease 
like MS," said Dr. Allan Gordon, neurologist and director of the Wasser 
Pain Management Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, in a statement. 
"The approval of Sativex in Canada reflects the urgent need for additional 
treatment options in the field of neuropathic pain in MS."

Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, is a common symptom of MS and can occur in 
as many as 86 per cent of people with the disease, Health Canada said.

The drug is derived from two compounds, delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol and 

About 50,000 Canadians have MS and the disease of the central nervous 
system is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in 
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