Primary progressive multiple sclerosis is a type of multiple sclerosis that affects 10-15% of people with multiple sclerosis. This type of the condition causes numerous sensory and physical symptoms and impacts physical and cognitive abilities over time. Primary progressive MS causes symptoms to get gradually and consistently worse, rather than people experiencing relapses with a later recovery as with relapsing-remitting MS.
“Ocrelizumab, which slows the progression of symptoms, would be the first treatment funded for primary progressive multiple sclerosis. This would support improved quality of life for about 85 people in the first year of funding, increasing to approximately 210 people each year after five years,” says Ms MacGibbon.
National Manager of Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand, Amanda Rose was delighted to hear about the consultation, sharing that it will providing the hope that their community has been searching for. “This is a momentous day for the treatment of the most disabling form of multiple sclerosis. If the proposal is approved, New Zealand would be the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to provide funded access to this medicine for primary progressive multiple sclerosis. We will be supporting Pharmac to share this consultation to ensure we have input into the decision.”
Ocrelizumab is administered by an intravenous (IV) infusion. The first two doses are given two weeks apart, followed by maintenance dosing every 6 months.