Flexible MS Care: New form of Tysabri® now available on the PBS

1 February 2024

  • The federal government has approved subcutaneous natalizumab (Tysabri®) for individuals with relapsing remitting MS under the PBS.
  • Tysabri® is an approved monoclonal antibody for relapsing remitting MS, which can be administered via a convenient 1 mL pre-filled syringe for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.
  • This approval provides an alternative treatment option for people with MS, offering a faster and more convenient experience.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) now includes a subcutaneous (SC) formulation of Tysabri® (natalizumab) for treating relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), in line with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s (PBAC) recommendation. This option is specifically intended for individuals with the most common type of MS, relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. While Tysabri® has been available as a monthly intravenous (IV) infusion, the introduction of the subcutaneous form provides an alternative treatment option for people living with MS.

Tysabri® is a monoclonal antibody targeting white blood cells preventing their passage through the blood-brain barrier and the subsequent attack on myelin or nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia for relapsing-remitting MS treatment since 2006, it has demonstrated efficacy in managing the condition.

The subcutaneous delivery of Tysabri® presents several advantages. Unlike the IV form, it allows treatment in diverse clinical settings, including GP clinics, potentially enhancing accessibility for individuals, especially those residing in remote areas. The subcutaneous administration is quicker, potentially shortening the overall treatment time, and may permit clinicians to reduce or eliminate the post-dose observation period after six doses. This streamlined process can be beneficial for people with MS, offering a faster and more convenient experience. Additionally, it reduces the risk of exposure to communicable illnesses in larger healthcare settings.

MS Australia provided a written submission in support of this medication to the PBAC, and we are pleased to see approval of this additional treatment option to allow greater flexibility for some people with MS. MS Australia consistently advocates for affordable access to proven treatment options, aiming to provide a range of effective therapies tailored to the unique circumstances of individuals with MS and their doctors.

It is crucial for individuals with MS to engage in discussions with their medical team to identify the most suitable treatment for their specific situation. Given the diverse impact of MS on individuals and variable responses to medications, personalised consultations are essential for optimising care. MS Australia actively supports this approach, emphasising the importance of affordable access to a spectrum of treatment options.


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Flexible MS Care: New form of Tysabri® now available on the PBS