Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) and brother-in-law Gary Warren (centre), who is a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferer, speak to them media in Sydney, Sunday, December 23, 2018. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

New treatment for multiple sclerosis patients

Media release
23 Dec 2018
Prime Minister, Minister for Health

Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

More than 6,000 Australians affected by the most common form of multiple sclerosis will save around $54,000 a year thanks to the listing of a new medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Our Government’s plan for a stronger economy means we can guarantee essential services and list medicines like Mavenclad® on the PBS from 1 January 2019 for people with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Listing Mavenclad will ensure this new treatment option is affordable for around 6,200 patients each year who are already accessing PBS subsidised medicines for MS, giving them an improved chance of reducing the damaging impact of MS on their lives.

With the Government covering almost all of the cost of the medicine through the PBS, patients will pay just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 for concessional patients.

While there is currently no cure for MS, by listing this key medicine on the PBS patients are set to face fewer relapses, less disease activity in the brain and less progression of disability.

Thanks to our strong economic management, we’ve ensured that every new, essential medicine recommended for listing by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee receives government subsidy to make it affordable for all Australians.

That means we are providing Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before.

The Committee is independent of Government by law and in practice. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from PBAC.

The recent 2018–19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) highlights our Government is investing a further $1.4 billion in new medicines, saving sick Australians hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

We are now making on average one new or amended PBS listing every single day.

Since 2013 our Government has helped Australians with new medicine subsidies worth almost $10.5 billion.

Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the independent medical experts.

Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.