Mavenclad for RRMS Now Available Through Seven Provincial Public Drugs Plans in Canada
Eligible people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) now have access to Mavenclad (cladribine) through seven provincial public drug plans in Canada, including the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) and the Ontario Drug Benefit Exceptional Access Program.
The oral treatment now is available through public drug programs in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The medication is reimbursed through two federal programs, the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program and Veteran’s Affairs Canada, and most private drug insurance plans in the country.
With an estimated 77,000 Canadians living with MS, Canada has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world. The majority of people with RRMS in Canada now will be able to access to Mavenclad through one of these public plans.
“The addition of Mavenclad, a short course oral treatment, to provincial benefit plans provides a welcomed option for patients and physicians,” Alexandre Prat, MD, PhD, neurologist and researcher at the University of Montreal, said in a press release.
“On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day,” said Pamela Valentine, president and CEO of the MS Society of Canada. “Ensuring Canadians have access to all Health Canada approved treatments for MS is vital to help manage their disease and live well.”
Mavenclad is an oral medication marketed by EMD Serono (Merck KGaA outside of the U.S. and Canada). It works by interfering with DNA repair and replication resulting in the death of rapidly-dividing cells, including immune cells that drive disease progression in RRMS. Mavenclad is believed to achieve its therapeutic effect by reducing the number of immune B-cells and T-cells, thereby reducing damaging inflammation in the nervous system.
Health Canada approved Mavenclad for the treatment of RRMS in 2017. The therapy received positive reimbursement recommendations from CADTH Canadian Drug Expert Committee in 2018 and from the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux earlier this year. EMD Serono finished negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance in 2019.
“We are delighted that the majority of eligible patients with RRMS can access Mavenclad through public drug plans,” said Robert Woolstencroft, head of patient access and government affairs of EMD Serono, Canada. “We continue to work with other participating jurisdictions so eligible patients with RRMS across Canada have timely and equitable access to Mavenclad through their public drug plans.”