The British MS Society has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the negative impact that cannabis use can have on patients. It’s also encouraging people to report people they think might be using cannabis illegally and asking them to stop.
The ms society uk is a campaign that has been launched by the UK’s MS Society to raise awareness of how cannabis can help people with MS.
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of the United Kingdom has spoken out against the country’s limited access to medicinal cannabis. The organization started a campaign with the hashtag #ApprovedButDenied to highlight the difficulties many patients have had obtaining medicinal marijuana. Why are MS sufferers having difficulty accessing medical cannabis, which has been legal in the United States for nearly three years? This line of reasoning led to the decision to start a campaign.
A Quick Overview of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune illness of the brain and spinal cord that affects the central nervous system. Individuals with this condition must learn to cope with the fact that their immune system is attacking the protective sheath of nerve fiber that surrounds nerve cells, causing an imbalance in the body that causes muscle spasms, paralysis, disrupted bladder function, mental changes, depression, and even epilepsy.
The disease may be fatal to its victim, causing excruciating agony and neurological damage. Cannabinoids have been shown to significantly alleviate patients’ bodily discomfort and enhance their overall quality of life, despite the fact that there is no treatment for MS. According to a study performed by experts in 2017, more than 40% of MS patients utilize medicinal cannabis.
“Getting the therapy you need shouldn’t be a game of chance,” MS Society UK said on Twitter on Sept. 1. It is, however, for the thousands of individuals with MS who suffer from muscular spasms.” As public outrage over the country’s ostensibly exclusive medical cannabis supply grew, the MS Society of the United Kingdom launched the Approved but Denied campaign, which was accompanied by a 30-page study.
“MS is unrelenting, painful, and exhausting,” according to the study, and “it may make it difficult to perform daily activities like walk, speak, eat, and think.” Furthermore, MS patients have “spasticity,” which is characterized by abnormal increases in muscular tone or stiffness, both of which impair mobility and speech and are linked with discomfort and suffering.
“MS is the only disease with an approved, cannabis-derived therapy for spasticity, called Sativex,” the study continues. Sativex, a breakthrough in both medical cannabis and MS therapy, was created to promote body homeostasis while simultaneously treating moderate to severe spasticity in MS patients.
But what good is it if MS sufferers can’t get their hands on it? According to the MS Society’s website,
“In England in 2019, Sativex, a cannabis-based spray, was authorized to treat moderate to severe spasms after other therapies failed. Many individuals with MS, however, are still unable to use it.”
In the campaign report, the group explains that this lack of access is due to England’s local health authorities, known as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), failing to prescribe it. Only 49 out of 106 CCGs are presently paying Sativex, and only 21 of those CCGs identified Sativex as appropriate for shared care, according to the study. Moreover, despite the strong demand, the total number of Sativex prescriptions in England has remained relatively stable since November 2019.
According to the study, the COVID-19 epidemic, patients’ apprehension about cannabis products, and the belief that Sativex is less effective than other medicines, despite published data to the contrary, are all contributing to the difficulty in obtaining Sativex.
The campaign also raises significant concerns regarding the so-called “postcode lottery,” which refers to the fact that only patients in certain area codes have easy access to Sativex, depending on whether their local CCGs finance it. Patients without access must either suffer with their agony, buy cannabis illegally, or pay up to €500 (about $587) each month for a private Sativex membership.
Sativex is discussed further.
Sativex includes the two major cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and may be taken orally (CBD). While the medication is designed to help with spasticity, it may also help with pain and anxiety, muscular spasms, and the risk of epileptic seizures. Sativex also includes peppermint oil and takes around 30 minutes to take action. Patients are usually recommended to use one spray every 24 hours, although they should modify their dosages according to their individual treatment regimens.
Sativex is a medication that is used to treat the symptoms of MS in adults, according to the Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC). It is also often used in combination with anti-spasticity prescription medicine as a “add-on” to the existing treatment plan. Patients who are hypersensitive to cannabinoids, have a family history of psychotic illnesses, or are breastfeeding should avoid Sativex, according to the EMC, because “finding the optimal dose may take up to two weeks.” Sativex is also contraindicated, or not recommended for use, in patients who are hypersensitive to cannabinoids, have a family history of psychotic illnesses, or are breastfeeding.
Sativex is a reliable, effective, and legal medication in the United Kingdom, and there’s no reason why MS sufferers there shouldn’t be allowed to take it if they choose to. “Sativex is not a ‘miracle drug’—it doesn’t help for everyone with spasticity,” the MS Society writes in its report. However, when it works, the results may be life-changing.”
If you live in the United Kingdom and want to assist the UK MS Society achieve its goal of increasing access to life-changing therapy for MS patients, you may write an email to your local CCG requesting that Sativex be funded and prescribed. Whether you’re not sure if Sativex is available in your region, check out the MS Society’s tool to discover if your local health care provider is prescribing it.
Chane Leigh, nicknamed The Bud Fairy, is a cannabis advocate and enthusiast from South Africa with a fiery personality and a desire to travel. She enjoys educating others and challenging social conventions.
The ms society vision is a campaign that the UK’s MS Society launched. It aims to make sure patients have access to cannabis-based treatments.
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