The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) makes recommendations to the Australian Government about the medicines for subsidy through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Today (21 August 2020), the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) made the following announcements regarding treatments for MS:
- In 2017, ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®), an intravenous infusion, was registered for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), for the treatment of people living with Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), to delay the progression of physical disability.
Despite successive submissions from MS Australia, MS Research Australia, clinicians and members of the MS community, ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®) was not recommended for listing on the PBS for PPMS by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).
The non-recommendation by PBAC states, “The PBAC did not recommend extending the listing of ocrelizumab to include patients with early, MRI-active PPMS. The PBAC considered that the key subgroup analysis that was relied on in the submission was inconsistent with the requested PBS population, which led to difficulties in assessing the cost-effectiveness of ocrelizumab. The PBAC considered that the economic model had likely underestimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) as the likely treatment effect and residential care costs had been overestimated. The PBAC noted the high clinical need for effective treatments to delay the progression of disability in PPMS.”.
(To read a fact sheet about ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®), please visit: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-ms/medications-treatments)
- In 2019, Mayzent® (siponimod), an oral treatment, was registered for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), for the treatment of people living with secondary progressive MS (SPMS), the form of MS that can follow on from relapsing remitting MS.
Following submissions from MS Australia, MS Research Australia, clinicians and members of the MS community, it was recommended for listing on the PBS for SPMS by the PBAC, who stated, “The PBAC recommended the listing of siponimod 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”.
(To read a fact sheet about Mayzent® (siponimod), please visit: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-ms/medications-treatments)
For further details regarding these announcements, please refer to the PBAC website:
Recommendations by the PBAC are subject to final approval by the Australian Government. We will keep you posted about any developments.
Always speak to your neurologist about what treatment best suits your individual circumstances.