On Friday 22 April, 2022, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listing of Vumerity® (diroximel fumarate) for the treatment of relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective layer (myelin) around the nerve cells. This causes inflammation and damage which stops the nervous system working properly. In RRMS, Vumerity®, a tablet taken twice daily, has been shown to result in fewer relapses, less disease activity in the brain and less progression of disability.
The PBAC also recommended the listing on the PBS of a new form of Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate) as a 40mg in 1 mL single dose pre-filled pen under the same conditions as the PBS-listed glatiramer pre-filled syringe.
The PBAC outcomes can be found on the PBAC website.
MS Australia made submissions to the PBAC supporting the listing of both medications as the provision of more affordable and accessible treatments can improve the lives of people with MS.
Adding Vumerity® and a new form of Copaxone® to the PBS will make a valuable addition to the repertoire of affordable medications available to people with MS and their neurologists. It will allow for an appropriate treatment choice to be made according to the efficacy and possible side-effects in relation to an individual’s circumstances and will help to alleviate the economic cost of MS to individuals, their families, carers and the broader community.
Following these PBAC recommendations, listing on the PBS is subject to Australian Government approval. MS Australia will publish this news as soon as it is announced.