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Mavenclad® Cladribine – Have your Say by Friday 22nd September 2023

September 19, 2023 | Treatments

Mavenclad® Cladribine – Have your Say

MSNZ is currently preparing a submission to Pharmac to urge them to again consider funding Mavenclad (Cladribine) for Relapsing Remitting MS. Our submission is due this Friday 22nd September. Real world and clinical trial data shows the treatment benefits for those with Relapsing Remitting MS. It is also available in some countries for active secondary progressive MS. Read more about this treatment below and then tell us, if you are on an MS DMT, what would an option like Mavenclad, with its unique (to NZ) treatment protocol, mean for you and your whānau? Email us: info@msnz.org.nz.

We note that treatment decisions should always be a shared role between patients and their health care providers. We understand that patients, who for various reasons may struggle with their current treatment protocol/regime could benefit.

Earlier this year the World Health Organisation included Cladribine as one of three treatments on the Essentials Medicines List (EML) due to its safety and efficacy.

What is Mavenclad® and how does it work?

The active ingredient of Mavenclad® is cladribine. It is used for the treatment of patients with relapsing remitting MS to reduce inflammation in the nervous system caused by MS. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective layer around the nerve cells, called myelin. This causes inflammation and damage which stops the nervous system working properly. By reducing the number of destructive immune cells in circulation, Mavenclad® may slow down or stop the immune attack.

Mavenclad® has been shown to result in fewer relapses, less disease activity in the brain and less progression of disability.

How is Mavenclad administered?

Mavenclad® is administered in two treatment courses over two years. Each treatment course consists of two treatment weeks. For a treatment week, you would be prescribed to take one or two tablets, once a day for 4-5 days. Dosage of Mavenclad® is dependent on your weight. Your doctor would decide the number of tablets per day (1 or 2) and number of treatment days (4 or 5) depending on your body weight. You may need to take the same number of tablets each day or some days you might take two tablets and then only one tablet on the following days.
There is no Mavenclad® treatment between the two courses.
Recent studies show that only 10% of patients require retreatment in Years 3 and 4.
Further analysis of 847 patients of treatment in Germany showed that by Year 5, 635 (75%) remained “drug free” meaning they either did not require retreatment nor had switched to another DMT.

Is Cladribine safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Mavenclad® interferes with DNA synthesis and is suspected to cause or may be expected to cause, an increased incidence of human fetal malformations or irreversible damage.
Pregnancy should be avoided during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose in year 2. Men being treated should take precautions to prevent pregnancy of their partner.
It is also not recommended to breastfeed while on active treatment.

Who do we see that Mavenclad would be useful for?

Treatment decisions should always be a shared role between patients and their health care providers. While we cannot say if this treatment will be right on an individual basis, we understand that the types of patients this treatment would be useful for are those who:

  • live away from main centres or who struggle to attend regular appointments.
  • may have treatment adherence concerns with daily medications.
  • travel regularly or for long periods of time for leisure or work.
  • are considering family planning in the medium term (not immediately).
  • have compromised immune systems and as such are vaccine hesitant.