The Australian government has announced that new MS medication Lemtrada® (alemtuzumab) will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1st April 2015.
Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) was previously approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in December 2013 for use as a first line therapy option for people with relapsing remitting MS who have active disease.
Lemtrada is not recommended for patients with mild or inactive disease or those who are stable on their current therapy.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended Lemtrada for PBS listing in November 2014. The Government announced that the treatment had passed final approval and will be available for prescription on the 1st April for individuals with relapsing-remitting MS who meet specific criteria.
As people with MS respond differently to treatments and the side-effect profiles of drugs differ, a wider range of treatment choices is a vital development.
MS Australia welcome the new treatment option available for Australians living with relapsing-remitting MS.
To read more on Lemtrada, there is a useful fact sheet available.
Individuals with MS should discuss treatment options with their neurologist.