The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) makes recommendations to the Australian Government about the medicines for subsidy through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Today (24 April 2020), the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) made the following announcements regarding treatments for MS:
- Nabiximols (Sativex®) was not recommended for listing on the PBS for the treatment of spasticity in MS. The PBAC said that, “The key clinical trial [data]…was likely to result in an overestimate of the clinical benefit and an underestimate of the adverse events for nabiximols”.
To read the outcome in full, please visit: https://www.pbs.gov.au/info/industry/listing/elements/pbac-meetings/pbac-outcomes/recommendations-made-by-the-pbac-march-2020
(To read a fact sheet about nabiximols, please visit: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-ms/medications-treatments)
- Ozanimod (Zeposia®), an oral treatment for Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS), was included on the March PBAC agenda, however the PBAC deferred making a recommendation for this treatment as the outcome of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) registration process for ozanimod was not yet available.
(A fact sheet for ozanimod will be available following provision of Consumer Medicine Information by the sponsor. For more information about ozanimod, please visit: https://msra.org.au/news/ozanimod-shows-promise-in-rrms-clinical-trials/)
- Siponimod (Mayzent®) was included on the March PBAC agenda, but consideration of this treatment has been suspended until the July meeting of PBAC to allow further information to be provided by the sponsor.
(To read a fact sheet about siponimod, please visit: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-ms/medications-treatments)
Also included on the March 2020 PBAC meeting agenda, is a Drug Utilisation Subcommittee (DUSC) Report about alemtuzumab (Lemtrada®). The report compares the predicted versus actual utilisation of this medicine since it was first listed on the PBS in 2015. The report states, “the actual number of patients, prescriptions and the corresponding expenditure for alemtuzumab was higher than predicted in Year 1 of listing but declined in the three subsequent years. DUSC considered the safety concerns with alemtuzumab and PBS listing of new medicines for RRMS may have contributed to the declining use of alemtuzumab”.
To read the DUSC outcome report in full, please visit: http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/industry/ listing/elements/dusc-meetings/dos
To read a fact sheet about alemtuzumab, please visit: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-ms/medications-treatments
For further details regarding these announcements, please refer to the PBAC website:
We will keep you posted about any developments.
Always speak to your neurologist about what treatment best suits your individual circumstances.