Thousands of Australians living with multiple sclerosis will have access to another affordable treatment option, with a new drug added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Zeposia is an oral treatment for adults with relapsing-remitting (RRMS) forms of MS, which helps reduce the frequency of attacks.
The disease causes the immune system to attack the central nervous system, causing messages that travel along the nerves to be blocked or distorted.
Common symptoms include fatigue, limb weakness, pins and needles, muscle spasms or tremors, slurred speech, brain fog as well as impaired memory and concentration.
MS Australia chief executive Rohan Greenland welcomed the addition of the drug to the PBS.
“While research is advancing into the cause, prevention and cure of the disease, to date, MS remains incurable,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“Treatment can, however, help people with MS manage their symptoms, relapses, and importantly, slow disability progression.”
“The PBS listing of Zeposia represents a valuable addition to the repertoire of affordable treatments available to those living with RRMS in Australia.”
More than 25,600 Australians have MS, while an estimated 30 new people are diagnosed every week.