World News – UA – MS lifeline as drug that can slow listed disease


Multiple sclerosis patients got a lifeline as federal government lists drug that may help slow disease progression

This decision will mean that all patients likely to benefit from « Mayzent » will only have to pay $ 41 per script instead of the estimated annual cost of $ 25,000.

Multiple sclerosis, known as MS, is the most commonly acquired neurological disease in young adults with over 25,600 Australians living with the disease

The average age of diagnosis is only 30, with around 75% of those affected being women

While some patients go into remission, about half of those diagnosed go into the secondary progressive phase where mobility gradually deteriorates

Until the release of the drug Mayzent, patients who entered this phase had to rely heavily on physical therapies to manage the disease with few, if any, effective drugs available.

Brain and Mind Center MS Clinic co-director Dr Todd Hardy said siponimod, sold under the brand name Mayzent, was the first available drug that was shown to be effective in secondary MS in clinical trials

Like other MS drugs, it worked by helping stop the immune system from attacking the central nervous system

“The majority of people who are first diagnosed with MS have relapsing-remitting MS, where they have seizures that come and go over many years,” said Dr Hardy

“After 15 to 20 years, the attacks become less frequent, and on the contrary there is a progressive deterioration of their mobility, what we call secondary progressive MS

« The way this medicine is used causes lymphocytes, which are part of the immune system, to be trapped in the lymph nodes so that they cannot enter the spinal cord and the brain to cause damage. It has a modest effect, but it is significant because it is the first drug shown to have an effect on secondary MS in clinical trials  »

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose brother-in-law Gary Warren has multiple sclerosis – although Mayzent will not benefit – said the list gave victims hope while helping them get their lives back on track

« In our family we know firsthand the hardships of this terrible disease, like so many other Australians, » he said.

« I am overwhelmed by the courage and perseverance of those living with MS It’s a daily struggle

« This drug will provide more support to these patients and their families for a better way of life »

Starting November 1, the government will invest more than $ 86 million over the next four years to provide better access to life-saving medicines for Australians with multiple sclerosis (MS) and various forms of cancer

Other listings will benefit patients with a common type of lymphoma affecting the skin, as well as carcinomas and reproductive cancers

Health Minister Greg Hunt said government will continue to list drugs as medical experts recommend

« These drugs will help Australians, and as medical experts recommend, we will list them, » he said.


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Medicine, multiple sclerosis, drug benefit regimen, siponimod

World news – UA – MS lifeline as drug that can slow disease



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