On Friday 23 August, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listing of two MS medications for children with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The two recommendations made by PBAC are as follows:
- “The PBAC recommended the Authority Required listing of fingolimod (brand name Gilenya®) 250 mcg capsules for treatment of RRMS in patients weighing 40kg or less. In making this recommendation, the PBAC considered that fingolimod 250 mcg used in RRMS patients weighing 40kg or less was equivalent to fingolimod 500 mcg used in RRMS patients weighing more than 40kg.”
- “The PBAC recommended removal of the age restriction from the PBS listing of natalizumab (brand name Tysabri®) to permit use in paediatric patients with RRMS.”
The PBAC outcomes can be found on the PBAC web-site here:
MS Australia made submissions to PBAC supporting the listing of both of these medications as the provision of more affordable and accessible treatments can improve the lives of people with MS.
Adding a new dosage for fingolimod (Gilenya®) and removing the age restriction for natalizumab (Tysabri®) on the PBS will make a valuable addition to the repertoire of affordable medications available to people with MS, especially children 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.
Following these PBAC recommendations, listing on the PBS is subject to Australian Government approval. MS Australia will publish this news as soon as it is announced.
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