It’s always interesting to hear what’s happening where the medical applications for cannabidiol products are concerned – and children with epilepsy in the UK look set to benefit, with CBD-based medication soon to be available.
According to the Guardian, UK manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals has just had Epidyolex approved by the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission. The decision means that the cannabidiol oral solution can now be launched across Europe to treat two rare and severe forms of the condition – Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.
Many patients with these conditions suffer multiple seizures a day and don’t respond to many of the other treatments out there, with many people dying before they reach their early 20s.
Chief executive of GW Justin Gover was quoted by the news source as saying: “The approval of Epidyolex marks a significant milestone, offering patients and their families the first in a new class of epilepsy medicines and the first and only EMA-approved CBD [cannabidiol] medicine to treat two severe and life-threatening forms of childhood-onset epilepsy.”
In the past, doctors in this country have been reluctant to prescribe CBD-based drugs, citing the lack of clinical evidence where safety and effectiveness are concerned. But this could change now that Epidyolex has been approved.
The news was welcomed cautiously by professor Ley Sander, medical director with the Epilepsy Society, saying that there is evidence to suggest that the drug is effective in reducing the incidence of seizures in some children with these two forms of epilepsy.
But he did add that medicinal cannabis is still a “medical minefield” and it’s important that the pharmaceutical sector works with the NICE to ensure that drugs are both cost effective and that their effects over the long term are clear.