Multiple sclerosis treatments (previously MSTAC)

From 1 March 2021, more people can access MS treatments for longer. The process for prescribers is easier too.

What changed?

PHARMAC widened access to funded multiple sclerosis treatments. Everyone using funded multiple sclerosis treatments can stay on their currently funded treatment for longer.

Prescribers can now use the standard Special Authority process to apply for funding. Previously, MS treatment funding requests went to a committee of clinical experts (MSTAC).

These changes mean:

  • people with multiple sclerosis will continue to access their funded MS medicines and can stay on them for longer

  • reduced workload for clinicians making applications. 

 From 1 March 2021:

  • access to funded multiple sclerosis treatments is widened to an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 0 to 6.0 (inclusive)
  • access to funded multiple sclerosis treatments is managed via the standard Special Authority process
  • the same Special Authority criteria applies to all funded multiple sclerosis treatments.

Who to contact

If you are a prescriber or pharmacist with questions about:

The new criteria

  • email waivers@pharmac.govt.nz
  • phone 0800 660 050 option 3

Special Authorities

Contact Sector Operations at the Ministry of Health on 0800 243 666, option 3 and then option 2.

If you have MS, talk to your prescriber about what these changes might mean for you. PHARMAC cannot comment on anyone's individual clinical circumstances.