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Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee November Meeting

bottle of medication
17 September 2014

This November the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) will consider two new MS treatments for subsidisation.

The first, Lemtrada is a Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) approved treatment that has previously received PBAC approval but requires resubmission to finalise pricing considerations.

The second treatment is PLEGRIDY (TM) a subcutaneous injectable therapy for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS), in which interferon beta-1a is pegylated to extend its half-life to permit a less frequent dosing schedule. The treatment includes similar components to interferon-beta 1a treatments already approved and subsidised in Australia such as Avonex and Rebif however clinical trials suggest PLEGRIDY can be administered fortnightly, effectively at least halving the dosage schedule of the other products.

PLEGRIDY is not yet on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, and would require approval by the TGA before it could be supplied in Australia. However, the Sponsor has submitted an application for reimbursement with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, which would suggest that the submission to the TGA is currently underway, and an outcome may be expected shortly.  Pending a safe recommendation from the TGA MS Australia would welcome the addition of this treatment to the PBS.

If you would like to make a comment on these treatments you can. The public submission period for the November PBAC meeting is open until 5pm Wednesday, October 8th.

For more information on these treatments and making a PBAC submission visit: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/PBAC-Meeting-Agenda-and-Consumer-Comments-lp