Changes to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatments
PHARMAC is changing the way some people receive their prescriptions and supply of MS treatments.
People taking Avonex
From 1 July 2019 you will need to get a prescription from your doctor and take this to your community pharmacy for your treatment to be dispensed.
You will receive a final delivery of 2-months supply of your Avonex on 5 June 2019. This will be your final delivery of Avonex.
People taking Betaferon
From 1 July 2019 you will need to get a prescription from your doctor and take this to your community pharmacy for your treatment to be dispensed
You will receive a final delivery of 2-months supply of your Betaferon on 29 May 2019. This will be your final delivery of Betaferon.
People taking Copaxone
Contact your hospital clinic to arrange switching to Copaxone 40mg before 30 June 2019. The 40 mg pre-filled syringe will mean fewer injections for you.
You will continue to receive monthly deliveries of your Copaxone 20 mg until you change to Copaxone 40 mg. This change will need to occur before 30 June 2019. The last delivery of Copaxone 20 mg will be on 19 June 2019.
Once you have changed to Copaxone 40 mg strength, you will need to get a prescription from your doctor and take this to your community pharmacy for your treatment to be dispensed.
Your pharmacy will need to order Avonex, Betaferon or Copaxone for you once they receive your prescription. You should take your prescription to your pharmacy at least two weeks before you run out of your MS treatment as your pharmacy will need to order stock in for you.
You will not have to pay the pharmacy patient co-payment (usually $5 every three-months) for Avonex, Betaferon and Copaxone for the duration of 2019.
Why is this change happening?
The change to how you receive your Avonex, Betaferon or Copaxone means the way you access these medicines is the same as how all other people with MS receive their medicines. Community pharmacies are in the best place to have an overview of all of the medicines that you are taking.
People taking Copaxone:
The supplier of Copaxone, Teva, will no longer be able to supply Copaxone 20 mg. PHARMAC is funding Copaxone 40 mg to ensure you continue to have access to funded Copaxone.
More information about the decision and what the changes mean for you can be found here
What should I do if I have any questions or concerns?
If you have any further questions about this change, please contact PHARMAC on 0800 023 588 option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also talk to your neurologist, nurse or GP about the changes and what they mean for you.
Last updated: 23 May 2019