Robert Fox, MD, discussed what’s currently available in terms of cannabis-derived medications that treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and realistic possibility of another soon entering the market.
Robert Fox, MD: There are [cannabis-derived medications to treat MS] and there are companies that have developed cannabis-based therapy. We now have an FDA-approved therapy for epilepsy which is a cannabis-derived or cannabis-related product. There indeed are cannabis-related molecules that have regulatory approval in other countries for spasticity. I do think there is potential and possibility in the future that there are cannabis-related substances or pharmacologic [agents] that become available.
The particular target I would be interested in is where patients report cannabis to be helpful, which is spasticity and pain related to spasticity. At this point, the studies looking at disease progression appear to have been negative. I don’t know if people are done looking at that, but at least to this point from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem to have an impact on the overall disease course. But this line of molecules do appear to have benefit on spasticity and pain related to spasticity. In other countries, cannabis-derived or in that family of molecules, have regulatory approval for pain and spasticity. That’s where I see the future going in this class of therapies.