Sativex ingredients

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

Dear Department of Health

Can you confirm that the principle ingredient of Sativex, with respect to which GW Pharma Limited was MHRA-licensed on 16 June 2010, is natural cannabis, and that production processes leave active constituents intact, without alteration to chemical structures?

Yours faithfully

Laurel Bush

www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
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0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
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References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

See also ‘Is Sativex cannabis?’ at http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in... and ‘Home Secretary in criminal drug conspiracy?’ at http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in...

Dear Department of Health,

G W Pharma Limited’s Sativex appears to set new standards in
production and packaging of tincture of cannabis (cannabis
constituents dissolved in ethanol)

If this is sums up what G W have done (and all literature I have
found points in this direction – including MHRA-published
literature) then Sativex is legally cannabis

Tincture of cannabis is not legally distinct from cannabis

Can you confirm that Sativex is cannabis?

Yours faithfully,

Laurel Bush

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send one within 18 working days or
20 working days if your query is a Freedom of Information request.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

See also ‘Sativex: a new tincture of cannabis’ at http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in...

Dear Department of Health,

See also ‘Sativex: a new tincture of cannabis’ at http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in...

Yours faithfully,

Laurel Bush

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send one within 18 working days or
20 working days if your query is a Freedom of Information request.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

Repeat of an up-page link, to 'Sativex: a new tincture of cannabis' at http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in...

Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE00000679078
 
Dear Mr Bush,
 
Thank you for your further correspondence of 10 and 20 February about
Sativex.  I have been asked to reply.
 
Detail information about Sativex is available on the Medicines and
Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Website at [1]www.mhra.gov.uk.   You
may wish to contact the MHRA for more information.
 
As previously explained in the Department’s letter of 18 January, Sativex
currently remains within Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.  You may
wish to contact the Home Office for more information regarding the legal
status of Sativex.
 
I hope this reply is helpful. 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Matthew Fluck
Customer Service Centre
Department of Health
 

show quoted sections

Dear Department of Health,

Your response of 29 February to my FOI request of 09 February, ‘Sativex ingredients’, does not supply information sought in my request (and your ‘www.mhra.gov.uk’ reference is loose, baggy, and vague in the extreme)

Do you intend to supply the information I seek, or should I read your response as a refusal to do so?

Yours faithfully,

Laurel Bush

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send one within 18 working days or
20 working days if your query is a Freedom of Information request.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 
Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.
 
You can find out more about the Department’s commitments from our
[6]Customer Charter and [7]Information Charter.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...
6. http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/contact-dh/
7. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FreedomOfInforma...

Dear Department of Health,

I write further to my statement of 29 February about yours of same date about my FOI request ‘Sativex ingredients’ of 09 February

If you know that Sativex is a schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and therefore a drug controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA), then you should be able to name the MDA-controlled drug of which Sativex is an example, and thus effectively supply the information sought by my FOI request

Is the drug cannabis?

‘Sativex’ is a proprietary name, of G W Pharma Limited, and does not appear anywhere in the act or the regulations

Yours faithfully,

Laurel Bush

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send one within 18 working days or
20 working days if your query is a Freedom of Information request.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 
Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.
 
You can find out more about the Department’s commitments from our
[6]Customer Charter and [7]Information Charter.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...
6. http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/contact-dh/
7. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FreedomOfInforma...

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

Repeat of some up-page text, from my messages to DH, 29 February and 01 March:

“Your response of 29 February to my FOI request of 09 February, ‘Sativex ingredients’, does not supply information sought in my request (and your ‘www.mhra.gov.uk’ reference is loose, baggy, and vague in the extreme)

“Do you intend to supply the information I seek, or should I read your response as a refusal to do so?

“If you know that Sativex is a schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and therefore a drug controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA), then you should be able to name the MDA-controlled drug of which Sativex is an example, and thus effectively supply the information sought by my FOI request

“Is the drug cannabis?

“‘Sativex’ is a proprietary name, of G W Pharma Limited, and does not appear anywhere in the act or the regulations”

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Long Email Body 14 03 2012.html

    15K Download

Email Content stored in attached file 'Long_Email_Body_14_03_2012.html'.

 

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Department of Health,

Your ‘Long Email Body 14 03 2012.html’ response of 14 March looks garbled

This is a sample from the response, as I am receiving it:

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /??>
- <st1:date st1="http://unknownprefix/st1" year="2012" day="14" month="3" xmlns:st1="http://unknownprefix/st1">
  <span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">14/03/2012</span>
  </st1:date>
- <span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">
  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /??>
  <o:p o="http://unknownprefix/o" xmlns:o="http://unknownprefix/o" />
  </span>
  </font>
  </p>
- <p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">
- <span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">

It seems not to be compatible with Internet Explorer

Please try again, and ensure compatibility with Internet Explorer

Yours faithfully,

Laurel Bush

Saul Goodman left an annotation ()

You are hassling the wrong people - you should submit this to the MHRA.

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

Thanks Saul

See requests to the MHRA ‘Sativex ingredients’ at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sa... and ‘Which ‘Controlled Drug’ is Sativex?’ at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...

Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE00000684423
 
Dear Mr Bush,
 
Thank you for your further correspondence about Sativex.  I have been
asked to reply.

I was sorry to read that you were dissatisfied with the Department’s
previous reply of 29 February (our ref: DE00000679078).

However, I am afraid that there is nothing else I can add to the
Department’s previous responses, including that of 18 January (our ref:
TO00000667837), which confirmed that Sativex is a cannabis-based
medicine. 

The replies you have received have outlined the Department’s position in
full.  Therefore, unless you raise a new question, any further
correspondence sent to the Department will be logged but may not receive a
reply.   

Yours sincerely,
 
Matthew Fluck
Customer Service Centre
Department of Health
 

show quoted sections

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

See also ‘Sativex is 25:27 cannabis (CBD:THC)’ at
http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in...

Dave Wilson left an annotation ()

Laurel, this is what is said in the e-mail you found difficult to read....Dave Wilson

"14/03/2012

DE00000685071

Dear Mr. Bush,

Thank you for your request of 1st March 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act (2000). Your exact request was:

“Are you trying to say “The Department is currently represented on the Committee by Dr Donal O’Donoghue, National Clinical Director for renal services and Dr Rafe Suvarna, manager of the Outreach and Professional Education Unit (OPEU) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The Department's interests are also represented by Sue Faulding, pharmacist and Programme Manager, Prescribing and Primary Care Services at the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.”?”

I can confirm that your interpretation of my previous email is correct. The Department is currently represented on the Committee by Dr Donal O’Donoghue, National Clinical Director for renal services and Dr Rafe Suvarna, manager of the Outreach and Professional Education Unit (OPEU) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The Department's interests are also represented by Sue Faulding, pharmacist and Programme Manager, Prescribing and Primary Care Services at the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:

Head of the Freedom of Information Team

Department of Health

Room 317

Richmond House

79 Whitehall ,

London

SW1A 2NS

Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xx.xxx.xxx.xx

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Department. The ICO can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Young

Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Health

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xx.xxx.xxx.xx"

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

Thanks Dave

I note the DH email seems not to be about my ‘Sativex ingredients’ request

Dave Wilson left an annotation ()

No surprise there eh Laurel, seems like the words "freedom of information" are a bit of an oxymoron in most cases, keep at them if you have the inclination.
The internet is working against the powers that be and they just don't like it, they didn't see it coming, they cant control it (although they are now starting to try)
Good for you that you are pushing on this, keep it up.

Dave

George Day left an annotation ()

"Each ml contains: 38-44 mg and 35-42 mg of two extracts (as soft extracts) from Cannabis sativa L., folium cum flore (Cannabis leaf and flower) corresponding to 27 mg delta- 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 25 mg cannabidiol. Extraction solvent: Liquid carbon dioxide."

Plus the following "excipients:

Ethanol anhydrous
Propylene glycol
Peppermint oil."

http://www.gwpharm.com/uploads/spc-doc.pdf

The pharmaceutical company that makes the drug states what the ingredients are, and where they extract them from.

If this isn't the information you are requesting, I really don't know what is.

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

The company’s description seems perfectly consistent with the Sativex being a form of cannabis, and especially so for purposes of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

No authority seems willing to state this, however, or, to state what Sativex is under the act if it is not cannabis

Dave Wilson left an annotation ()

The way i am seeing this is the company are selling you a drug that is in effect actually illegal to all intents and purposes, for an extortionate sum of money. It lists side affects as being the same sensations as you would have if you smoked cannabis. This makes it no different from the "illegal substance" yet it is sold legally!!
The same applies to Marinol (60 x 10mg capsules of Marinol sells for $1,700 in the USA) which lists the same side affects......In essence these companies are actually allowed to sell an illegal drug for a huge mark up legally.
If i can be prosecuted for selling, possessing or using cannabis they should also be held in the same regard for selling cannabis what is in effect is an illegal drug!

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

In the UK, cannabis is a ‘controlled drug’ - a drug controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA 1971) - and G W Pharma’s Sativex seems to be cannabis which is out of control

As commonly used, the expression ‘illegal drug’ is very misleading

Drugs can be illegal in some circumstances and very legal in others

See also my FOI request to the Home Office ‘Home Office website statement that MDA-controlled drugs are ‘illegal drugs’' at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ho...

I believe we are generally conned about drugs, and perhaps more so by governments and licensed drug dealers (often styled as ‘pharma’ companies) than by any unlicensed drug dealer

Laurel Bush left an annotation ()

I have recently managed to access and copy the DH’s ‘Long Email Body 14 03 2012.html’, as below, and it is clearly not about my ‘Sativex ingredients’ FOI request

Content of ‘Long Email Body 14 03 2012.html’:

DE00000685071

Dear Mr. Bush,

Thank you for your request of 1st March 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act (2000). Your exact request was:

“Are you trying to say “The Department is currently represented on the Committee by Dr Donal O’Donoghue, National Clinical Director for renal services and Dr Rafe Suvarna, manager of the Outreach and Professional Education Unit (OPEU) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The Department's interests are also represented by Sue Faulding, pharmacist and Programme Manager, Prescribing and Primary Care Services at the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.”?”

I can confirm that your interpretation of my previous email is correct. The Department is currently represented on the Committee by Dr Donal O’Donoghue, National Clinical Director for renal services and Dr Rafe Suvarna, manager of the Outreach and Professional Education Unit (OPEU) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The Department's interests are also represented by Sue Faulding, pharmacist and Programme Manager, Prescribing and Primary Care Services at the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:

Head of the Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health
Room 317
Richmond House
79 Whitehall ,
London
SW1A 2NS

Email: freedomofinformation@dh.gsi.gov.uk

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Department. The ICO can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Young

Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Health

freedomofinformation@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Dear Department of Health

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health's handling of my FOI request 'Sativex ingredients'

I have had difficulty decoding the DH response of 14 March 2012, ‘Long Email Body 14 03 2012.html’, but I have recently done so, and I see that it is not about my ‘Sativex ingredients’ FOI request, which has been outstanding since 09 February 2012

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sa...

Yours faithfully

Laurel Bush

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send one within 18 working days or
20 working days if your query is a Freedom of Information request.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 
Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the [5]'How to make a complaint' page on the Department's
website.
 
You can find out more about the Department’s commitments from our
[6]Customer Charter and [7]Information Charter.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://transparency.dh.gov.uk/category/t...
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/contact-dh/c...
6. http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/contact-dh/
7. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FreedomOfInforma...

Dear Department of Health

This FOI request is hereby withdrawn

Please see ‘Internet phobia’ at
http://www.spanglefish.com/laurelbush/in...

Yours faithfully

Laurel Bush

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