PBS listing recommended for medical cannabis but other neurology drugs rejected by PBAC


By Michael Woodhead

19 Jan 2021

PBS listing of cannabidiol for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome has been recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

At its November meeting the PBAC recommended listing of cannabidiol in combination with at least two other anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)as a third line treatment for Dravet Syndrome

The PBAC did not recommend the PBS listing of cannabidiol for treatment of Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS).

In September the TGA approved the cannabidiol product Epidyolex for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older.

The PBAC also refined its recommendation for the PBS listing of galcanezumab for the treatment of chronic migraine, recommending that it was cost effective if cost-minimised to Botox. The committee also concluded a separate risk sharing arrangement for galcanezumab was reasonable, however advised revisions to the financial estimates, expenditure caps and rebate levels would be required to ensure cost-effective use.

However an application for PBS listing of galcanezumab (Emgality) for the treatment of treatment-resistant episodic migraine in patients was not recommended.

Two other neurology therapies were rejected for PBS listing by the PBAC at its November meeting

The PBAC did not recommend listing of eculizumab for the treatment of Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder  (NMOSD).

“Although the PBAC considered that eculizumab was more effective than best supportive care in reducing relapses, the magnitude of this effect on disability progression and quality of life outcomes was highly uncertain,” it said.

Similarly, the PBAC rejected an application from Alexion to have the PBS listing for nusinersen extended to include the treatment of adults with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

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