On the 1st of October Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab) was finally funded for those with Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) who meet the Pharmac criteria for access. We prepared some information to answer the most common questions we have been receiving. Ocrevus for PPMS – Your Questions Answered.
In most cases this will require you to request a referral from your GP to your local Neurology department. Most GPs may be unaware of the availability of Ocrevus for PPMS, so a Handy tip is to take a copy of this with you to your GP appointment to alert them of this new treatment, and your potential eligibility.
We acknowledge that the initial excitement that GPs may be able to prescribe Ocrelizumab was short-lived. While we appreciate that the intention was to reduce relays and pressure on the health system, starting treatment is decision best had between a patient and their neurologist. Your neurologist will know more about the treatment and be able to explain the benefits and risks, discuss whether it is right for your unique circumstances and take into account any other health concerns.
We appreciate the current health system is undergoing a critical workforce shortage crisis and many across the country are experiencing significant delays in access. If you are affected by these delays, and you feel the wait time you have been given is extensive, please report these to us so that we can keep track of the ongoing issues. Independently, and with our friends at the Neurological Alliance, the workforce crisis is top of our advocacy priorities which we are raising with the new government and Te Whatu Ora. Your experiences will help to inform this work. You can contact us via our website to tell us more about your experiences with accessing services.