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Cannabinoids on NHS

.GPs could be prescribing drugs derived from cannabis within the next year as evidence suggests they have dramatic benefits in multiple sclerosis, according to the leader of Government-backed research.

Dr John Zajicek, leader of the study and consultant neurologist at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, said GPs could be prescribing MS patients cannabinoids to reduce leg spacticity 'by the first or second quarter of next year' subject to good results in the Medical Research Council-backed trial. The drug company GW Pharmaceuticals has already applied for a licence for cannabinoid spray.

Marinol, one of the trial drugs, is already prescribed in the UK on a named-patient basis for chemotherapy-induced nausea, he added.

Dr Zajicek told a meeting of the Royal Society of Medicine last week that cannabinoids had also shown potential in palliative care.

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