AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a) is currently used for the treatment of Australians living with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), including clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).
From 1 April 2023, AVONEX will no longer be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australians living with MS. The removal of AVONEX from the PBS means people with MS will no longer be able to access this treatment from 1 April 2023. AVONEX will continue to be supplied until 1 July 2023 for people with CIS, to allow them to find a suitable alternative treatment option.
People with MS are strongly advised to book an appointment with their treating specialist as soon as possible, so they can determine the best treatment options available to ensure a safe transition onto a different medication and to continue treating their MS after 31 March 2023.
CEO of MS Australia, Rohan Greenland, said MS Australia understands that while this may be a concern to those people currently using this medication, earlier medications can often be superseded by more modern options and resources reallocated to ensure optimal treatment for all people with MS.
“Australia leads the world in access to MS treatments and while many alternatives are available, MS Australia will continue to advocate for all proven treatment options to be available on the PBS to increase the opportunity for people with MS and their doctors to find effective therapies suited to their individual circumstances,” Mr Greenland said.
To read more about AVONEX please visit MS Australia’s webpage about disease-modifying therapies for MS and scroll down to AVONEX.
MS Australia does not recommend any specific treatment for people living with MS. Decisions about any treatments, taking into consideration the potential benefits and side effects for each individual’s circumstances, should be made in careful consultation with the person’s neurologist.