LONDON, December 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The MS Society has today (13 December) welcomed an unprecedented move by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to provide potential prescribers of the unlicensed drug Sativex more information to help them in their decision.

Sativex is an oral spray containing a cannabis extract and clinical trials are investigating its efficacy in alleviating symptoms of spasticity and pain in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Although currently unlicensed, it is available to people with MS on a named patient basis and around 1,200 people have so far received the drug in the UK.

In publishing the Public Information Report for Sativex, the MHRA will detail a recent assessment of Sativex and the views of a panel of clinical experts.

Dr Lee Dunster, head of research and information at the MS Society said: "We welcome the move to provide more information about the quality, safety and effectiveness of Sativex for people with MS and we look forward to the results of the clinical trials which are due next year."

Notes to Editors:

- The MS Society ( is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting everyone whose life is touched by MS, providing respite care, an award-winning freephone helpline (0808 800 8000), specialist MS nurses and funds around 40 vital MS research projects in the UK.

- Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling neurological disorder affecting young adults and an estimated 85,000 people in the UK have MS.

- MS is the result of damage to myelin - the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system - which interferes with messages between the brain and the body.

- For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern.

- Symptoms range from loss of sight and mobility, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems. There is no cure and few effective treatments.

For media enquiries please contact the MS Society Press Office on +44(0)20-8438-0840, or the out of hours duty press officer on +44(0)7909-851401.