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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11483

Multiple Sclerosis: Sativex

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This petition of Australian people living with Multiple Sclerosis, their families and supporters, draws to the attention of the House:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common neurological disease in the world for which there is no cure, and over 23,000 Australians have MS.

Sativex is a life-changing MS treatment which is proven to help people who suffer mobility issues, muscle spasms and pain, and urinary incontinence. MS Australia welcomed the listing of this treatment as an option for doctors to prescribe to people with MS, to help them to manage their disease.

There are no side effects from using it and is much more tolerable than other medications. MS UK published a survey of nearly 4,000 people living with MS and found that 82% of those taking Sativex considered it essential and a high priority. For these people, Sativex is invaluable and makes life worth living again.

Although Sativex is listed for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) it is not available on the PBS. In 2013, the Australian National Council on Drugs' reported that Sativex cost about $500 per month. This puts the drug out of the reach of most MS sufferers who struggle with daily living and are often restricted in being able to work.

We therefore ask the House to: Recommend the listing of Sativex on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis spasticity conditions.

from 1,012 citizens