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Australian Government approves PBS listing of Siponimod (brand name Mayzent®) for secondary progressive MS.

26 October 2020

Yesterday (25 October, 2020) the Federal Health Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced the listing of siponimod (Mayzent) for the treatment of secondary progressive MS (SPMS) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), from 1 November, 2020.

The Federal Health Minister’s media release states that:

“Today I am delighted to [announce] the news that from the first of November for patients with multiple sclerosis, in particular with secondary regressive multiple sclerosis, 800 patients will have access to Mayzent.

This would otherwise cost $25,000 per year, beyond the reach of the vast majority of Australians. And instead, under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme they’ll pay either $41 or, at the most, $6.60 as a subsidised payment per script.”

This PBS listing was recommended by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

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This is the first time in Australia that a medicine has been listed on the PBS specifically for the treatment of SPMS.   It makes a valuable addition to the repertoire of affordable medications available to all people with MS and their neurologists. It will allow for an appropriate treatment choice to be made according to the efficacy and possible side-effects in relation to an individual’s circumstances and will help to alleviate the economic cost of MS to individuals, their families and the broader community.

MS Australia made submissions to PBAC supporting the listing of this medication as the provision of more affordable and accessible treatments can improve the lives of people with MS. This MS medication for SPMS was recommended for listing on the PBS by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) on Friday 21 August 2020, as outlined in this MS Australia news item.  

The PBAC recommended the listing of siponimod (Mayzent®) for patients with secondary progressive MS who are ambulant (with or without support). In making this recommendation, the PBAC noted the “high clinical need for effective treatments for patients with progressive forms of relapse-onset MS and for patients with greater accumulated disability”.

Recommendations by the PBAC are subject to final approval by the Australian Government.

Following yesterday’s announcement, those eligible for this medication, will pay a maximum of $41.00 per script (or $6.60 for concessional patients).

For MS Australia, a key focus is on people living with MS, being able to effectively manage their condition, and we stand alongside them in seeing this announcement as a positive step.  

As no two people with MS experience the condition in the same way, it’s important that people with MS (including in this instance, people with SPMS) discuss any potential treatments with their neurologist or MS nurse.

Like all drugs, siponimod (Mayzent®) may have some side effects and is not suited to all people with SPMS. More details on this and other important information is outlined in the updated MSA treatment sheet (see link below).

Please consult your neurologist to see if siponimod (Mayzent®) is the right treatment for you. Decisions about treatments, taking into consideration the potential benefits and side effects for your individual circumstance, should be made in careful consultation with your healthcare team.

As the national advocacy organisation for people living with MS, MS Australia continues to work with our partner organisations to ensure the MS community and their healthcare teams, have access to the broadest range of affordable treatments as possible.