People living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic condition affecting the central nervous system, will be afforded more choice when it comes to treatment as generic medication becomes available following a lapse of intellectual property laws.
From the first of this month, generic medications will become available for MS disease-modifying therapies, in particular, the drug Teriflunomide (Aubagio), used to treat relapsing MS.
The generic medications contain the same active ingredient as its branded counterpart but may be packaged or presented differently and if listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will likely cost the same as the original version.
Under the PBS, Teriflunomide is charged at $40.30 per 28 pack, compared to a minimum of $704.83 when sold on the private market.
Head of Research at MS Research Australia, Dr Julia Morahan says the generic medication will provide people living with MS with more choice.
She says the PBS allows MS patients to enjoy subsidised treatments and is pleased the new generic versions will be included in the scheme.
“MS Research Australia and MS Australia advocates for all MS medications to be included on the PBS and for affordable access to any medication that has been shown in clinical trials to provide a clinical benefit.”
“The cost of medications is set through negotiations with the pharmaceutical sponsor and the Australian Government.”
She says Teriflunomide is approved for relapsing MS, the most common form of the disease.
“It is characterised by flare-ups of the neurological symptoms of MS, also known as relapses or attacks, followed by periods of recovery or remission.
[Teriflunomide] It is one of a number of medications approved to treat this form of MS.
The generic options have come to light following a lapse in intellectual property laws which prevented the medication from being copied and sold under a different brand.
For more information on generic medications for MS click here.