Today (1 March, 2021) the Federal Health Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced the listing of ozanimod (Zeposia®) for the treatment of relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Ozanimod was approved for treatment of relapsing forms of MS in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in July 2020. Ozanimod is an oral treatment that has a similar mode of action to fingolimod (Gilenya) and siponimod (Mayzent), medications that are already approved in Australia for the treatment of MS. Siponimod was also recently the first drug in Australia to be approved for the treatment of secondary progressive MS (SPMS) (more information available here), but at this stage in Australia, Ozanimod has not been approved for secondary progressive disease.
Ozanimod is now the 14th disease-modifying therapy for MS to be listed on Australia’s PBS and is a valuable addition to the repertoire of affordable medications available to all people with MS and their neurologists. As MS is a very varied disease, and everyone responds differently to different medications, the inclusion of Ozanimod allows access to a greater range of medications to ensure the appropriate treatment choice can be made for each individual’s circumstances. The addition of Ozanimod on the PBS will also help alleviate the economic cost of MS to individuals, their families and the broader community.
MS Australia and MS Research Australia made submissions to PBAC supporting the listing of this medication, and supports access to affordable treatment options to improve the lives of people with MS. This MS medication for RRMS was recommended for listing on the PBS by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in September 2020.
Recommendations by the PBAC are subject to final approval by the Australian Government.
Following the Minister’s announcement, those eligible for this medication will pay a maximum of $41.00 per script (or $6.60 for concessional patients).
For MS Australia and MS Research Australia, a key focus is for people living with MS to be able to effectively manage their condition and we stand alongside them in seeing this announcement as a positive step. We advocate for the inclusion of all medications shown to be effective in the treatment of MS.
As no two people with MS experience the condition in the same way, it is important that people with MS discuss any potential treatments with their neurologist or MS nurse. Please consult your neurologist to see if Ozanimod is the right treatment for you. Decisions about treatments, taking into consideration the potential benefits and side effects for your individual circumstances, should be made in careful consultation with your healthcare team.
For updated treatment information for Zeposia® please visit here.