Roche Canada and the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) have completed negotiations ultimately aiming to obtain public funding for Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) as a first-line treatment for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with active disease, and as management strategy for patients with early primary progressive MS (PPMS).
Active disease in people with RRMS is defined by clinical and imaging features, while early PPMS is determined through disease duration, level of disability, and imaging evidence of inflammatory activity.
The pCPA is set up by Canadian provinces and territories, and conducts joint negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to increase patient access to clinically relevant and cost-effective treatments, and enable lower therapy costs.
Thirteen of the 16 jurisdictions have signed on to the pCPA letter of intent on Ocrevus, including: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon, Correctional Services Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, and Non-Insured Health Benefits.
Roche Canada will continue working with the three remaining jurisdictions — British Columbia, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut — to achieve public funding for all eligible MS patients, the company says.
“We are thrilled to have completed negotiations with the pCPA as the first step in allowing public funding in Canada for the first and only approved treatment for PPMS, the most severe and debilitating form of the disease, as well as a new way to target and reduce relapses and disease progression in people living with RRMS,” Ilona Torontali, Roche Canada’s vice president, said in a press release.
According to Torontali, the company will work with each of the 13 jurisdictions “to ensure that Ocrevus is available through each of the provincial public formularies.”
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