PBAC Recommends MS Medication Ofatumumab for PBS
In March 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia approved a new treatment for relapsing MS in adults. Now, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) have announced their recommendation for ofatumumab (marketed as Kesimpta®) to be subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS). This positive recommendation for the subsidy will now be passed to the Federal Government for final approval. Once this happens, ofatumumab will become an affordable treatment for people with MS.
Ofatumumab is an antibody against a protein called CD20 found on the surface of B cells. B cells are immune cells involved in the damage to the brain and spinal cord in MS, and ofatumumab targets these B cells for destruction. Ofatumumab is similar to another MS medication ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), which also targets B cells bearing the CD20 protein.
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