Back to top

MS treatments on PBAC’s March 2020 agenda

6 February 2020

It’s unusual to have three medications for treating MS before a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), for consideration for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This is of significance to the MS community as the range of treatment options potentially expands. We have prepared the following overview which may be of interest.

In March 2020, PBAC meets and amongst the many treatments on its agenda are the following:

  1. Nabiximols (Sativex®): if recommended for listing on the PBS, this would be the first medicinal cannabis product ever listed in Australia. In this instance, for the treatment of spasticity in MS – a significant symptom of the condition.
  2. Siponimod (Mayzent®): this is a resubmission to the PBAC after the first was not recommended. (See our previous news item). A reminder that Siponimod (Mayzent®) is the only TGA-registered oral treatment for Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) in Australia.
  3. Ozanimod (Zeposia®): if recommended for listing on the PBS, Ozanimod would be an additional oral treatment for Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) – expanding the range of treatment options for the MS community.

MS Australia (MSA) will be making submissions supporting the listing of these medicines on the PBS. Public submissions are encouraged and close at 5pm on Wednesday 12 February 2020 via this link:

Also on the March 2020 PBAC meeting agenda, is a Drug Utilisation Subcommittee (DUSC) Report about:

  1. Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada®): the report will compare the predicted versus actual utilisation of this medicine since it was first listed on the PBS.

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.

The recommendations for the above treatments are scheduled to be published on the PBAC website on Friday 24 April 2020, and we’ll keep you posted on developments.

As always, MSA recommends that you discuss your treatment requirements and options with your neurologist.

Also potentially of interest to the MS community is the recently-launched, consumer-focused Medicine Status Website: available through the PBS website.

The MSW allows the Australian public to track the progress of a medicine as it moves through the PBS listing process. It contains information on applications considered by PBAC from July 2019 onwards.