REBIF (Interferon beta-1a) is currently used for the treatment of Australians living with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease and active secondary progressive disease.
From 1 December 2022, REBIF will no longer be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australians living with MS. This includes all available presentations of REBIF, including the interferon beta-1a single dose autoinjector, single dose pre-filled syringe and multidose cartridge.
The removal of REBIF from the PBS means people with MS will no longer be able to start treatment with this product, from 1 December 2022.
However, for people with MS who are currently being treated with REBIF, it is important to note that while the therapy will be removed from the PBS from 1 December 2022, should you wish to continue with this therapy as long as possible, REBIF scripts will still be filled until 1 April 2023 – provided you have enough repeats to last you between now and 31 March 2023, or until your specialist is able to safely transition you onto a new treatment.
People with MS who are currently taking REBIF are strongly advised to request a new script from their GP or treating specialist as soon as possible before 1 December 2022 to ensure they can continue to access PBS-listed REBIF until 31 March 2023 should they wish to continue therapy until then.
People with MS are strongly advised to book an appointment with their treating specialist, 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 31st 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that while this may be a concern to those people currently using this medication, earlier medications can often be superseded by more modern options and resources reallocated to ensure optimal treatment for all people with MS.
“It is important to note Australia does lead the world in access to medications and while a number of alternatives are available, MS Australia will continue to advocate for all efficient MS medications to be available on the PBS, especially considering that everyone with MS is different and may respond differently,” said Mr Greenland.
To read more about REBIF please visit MS Australia’s webpage about disease-modifying therapies for MS and scroll down to REBIF.
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.