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8 July, 2013 - 08:54 By News Desk

Cannabis based drug firm in Europe surge

Justin Gover, CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals

Cambridge UK medical technology firm GW Pharmaceuticals has commercialised a cannabis-based prescription medicine in Italy.

And CEO Justin Gover says another nine countries are set to come onboard to take Sativex®.

The medicine treats moderate to severe spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients who have not responded adequately to other anti-spasticity medications.

It is now available in Italy through GW’s partner Almirall S.A. and follows receipt of full marketing authorisation for Sativex® by the Italian health authorities in May. The medicine is reimbursed by the Italian authorities as a Class H (hospital dispensed) medicine.

Gover said: “As one of the largest markets in Europe, the launch of Sativex® in Italy is a key milestone in the commercialisation of this important new medicine.

“Italy represents yet another addition to the growing number of countries in Europe in which Sativex is now available to treat MS spasticity, a particularly debilitating symptom of MS that is not adequately treated with currently available medications.

“With a total of 21 countries that have now approved Sativex for use in the treatment of MS spasticity, and a further nine countries in which regulatory submissions are ongoing, we look forward to a series of further commercial launches over the coming 12 months.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Justin Gover, CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals

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