The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence – a United Kingdom policy group – has decided not to recommend CBD with clobazam for treating treatment-resistant epilepsy conditions Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, according to a Medscape report. CBD with clobazam is used in the GW Pharma drug Epidiolex.
Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said that the committee accepts “that the evidence shows that cannabidiol with clobazam reduces seizure frequency, [but] its long-term efficacy is unknown.”
“…The committee was not convinced about the way the company had modeled the effect on people living longer or having a better quality of life. Based on the evidence presented to it, the committee could not recommend cannabidiol with clobazam as an effective use of [National Health Services] resources.” – Boysen, to Medscape
Boysen added that NICE is “committed to working with the company to resolve the economic modeling issues identified by the committee, and to help them understand what they may need to do to mitigate the cost of cannabidiol to the NHS.”
Professor David Nutt, head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, told Medscape that CBD “by itself isn’t particularly efficacious” for treating epilepsy syndromes, and that “most of the successful outcomes” have come from the use of cannabis oil that also contains THC and THCV.
“Developing and testing such combinations would be extremely challenging and expensive and, given none may ever be reimbursed by NICE, ultimately futile,” Nutt said in the report. “This is why no mainstream pharmaceutical companies are in the field.”
Earlier this month, NHS England reported that the lack of quality data was a “major hurdle” to NHS patients being able to obtain cannabis-based medicines.