New treatment for Multiple Sclerosis becomes widely available in Australia

Sydney, Australia – 1 August 2022.

VUMERITYTM, a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), is now listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – allowing broad access for Australians living with the disease1
VUMERITY is intended to slow down the progression of physical disability in people with relapsing forms of MS and decrease the number of flare ups2
People are commonly diagnosed with MS at a young age (20-40)3, at a busy period in their lives where they may benefit from the convenience of an at-home oral treatment option

1 August, 2022 (Sydney) – From 1 August 2022, VUMERITYTM (diroximel fumarate), a new oral treatment for a form of multiple sclerosis (MS) called relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).1

MS is a chronic, often debilitating disease and is on the rise, with around 10 Australians diagnosed every week.4 The majority (75%) of those with MS are women and diagnosed early in life, between the age of 20-40.3 This is a time when they may be making important lifestyle decisions such as travel, career and family planning choices, as well as needing to adapt quickly to changing circumstances such as the recent pandemic. Having the convenience of an oral treatment option available which can be taken at home may be beneficial to people living with MS during this busy period of their lives.

VUMERITY is taken twice a day for the purpose of reducing the effects of RRMS.1 VUMERITY is intended to decrease the inflammation in the brain that is caused by MS, to reduce nerve damage.1

“Treatments for MS are selected according to their effectiveness, side effects and how well they fit in with people's lives, and for those who prioritise flexibility and being able to adapt to life’s changing circumstances, the speed at which a therapy can be cleared from the body may be a factor that informs treatment decision-making,” said Dr. Todd Hardy, leading Sydney Neurologist, based at Concord Hospital. “This new medicine is a welcome addition to the treatment armamentarium for doctors like myself and brings hope for people with MS with another option available to them."

“With the rate of MS seemingly on the rise in Australia4, having access to more treatments is welcome news for our community,” said Dr. Julia Morahan, Head of Research at MS Australia. “This PBS listing is a significant milestone because it provides broad access for so many people who are already facing a challenging diagnosis. The economic cost of MS impacts not only those diagnosed, but also their families, carers and the broader community.”

“Today’s news provides an additional treatment option for people living with MS and represents another important milestone for Biogen in delivering on our ambition to improve the lives of those living with MS,” said David Henderson, Managing Director, Biogen ANZ. “Biogen’s foundations as a company, aiming through science to address the unmet needs of people living with challenging and complex diseases, has been built on its portfolio of MS products. From this, we have been able to support people across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world with a broad portfolio of MS therapies. We are proud to be able to support the MS community and will not stop in our quest to transform the experience of people and their families living with this disease.”

People living with RRMS are encouraged to consult their treating healthcare professional as to the best treatment for them.

For further information please contact Fiona Tigar +61 400 741 286.

PBS Information: Authority Required (STREAMLINED). For use in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who meet certain criteria. Refer to PBS schedule for full Authority Required Information.

References:

1. VUMERITY Product Information. Available at www.biogen.com.au/products/vumerity-PI.pdf. Accessed July 2022.
2. VUMERITY Consumer Information. Available: www.biogen.com.au/products/vumerity-CMI.pdf. Accessed July 2022.
3. Multiple Sclerosis Australia. What is multiple sclerosis? Available: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/what-is-multiple-sclerosis-ms/. Accessed July 2022.
4. MS Australia. MS on the rise in Australia but still flying under our radar. Available: https://www.msaustralia.org.au/news/ms-rise-australia-still-flying-radar/. Accessed July 2022.

If you have any questions about RRMS or VUMERITY™, please speak to your healthcare professional.

VUMERITY™ (diroximel fumarate) 231mg capsules are a Prescription Medicine for patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. VUMERITY has risks and benefits. Ask your healthcare professional if VUMERITY is right for you. Take strictly as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional.

Please read the full Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) before taking VUMERITY™, available at www.biogen.com.au/products/vumerity-CMI.pdf

VUMERITY™ and Biogen® are registered trademarks of Biogen MA Inc. Biogen Australia Pty Ltd, Macquarie Park, NSW. Biogen NZ Biopharma Ltd, 188 Quay Street, Auckland, New Zealand. ©2022 Biogen-175959. Date of preparation: July 2022.