NEW treatment for a common form of multiple sclerosis has been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, a feat that has been welcomed by the MIA branch of MS Australia.
The group, which is based in Leeton, but has members from across the MIA region, said the news would be a relief to many.
Australians living with the most common form of MS can now gain access to a new treatment option with the listing of Zeposia (ozanimod) on the PBS for relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).
This is an oral treatment for adult patients with relapsing forms of MS. It is known as a disease modifying therapy, which alters immune system activity to help reduce the frequency of attacks to the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spine and optic nerve.
Having it listed on the PBS makes it more accessible and affordable for those living with the condition.
MIA branch of MS Australia Joan Dartnell said for her personally the news was bittersweet.
"It's fantastic news for all of the people who have this type of MS ... I have no doubt it will be of great help to them," she said. "This is the type of MS my daughter, who has passed away, had. So it's bittersweet, but it's extremely good news.
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"It means all of the hard work we put into fundraising and caring for our people with MS is paying off. Progress and research is helping."
The MIA branch has had a relatively quiet year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is now looking to get back into the full swing of things.
The organisation will be holding a luncheon on March 25 at the Griffith Leagues Club from 11am to celebrate MS Awareness Month.
"We haven't been able to get together as a group for so long, especially with our ones in the nursing home, so everyone is really looking forward to it," Mrs Dartnell said.
"Everyone is welcome to come along."