Decisions relating to multiple sclerosis treatments

Medicines Decision

PHARMAC is pleased to announce the approval of proposals to fund two new treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – dimethyl fumarate and teriflunomide – and to make amendments to the Special Authority criteria relating to MRI requirements for all MS treatments. This decision was the subject of a consultation letter dated 16 October 2015.

In summary, the effect of the decision is that from 1 February 2016:

  • two new treatments:
    • dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), supplied by Biogen NZ Biopharma Limited (Biogen), and
    • teriflunomide (Aubagio), supplied by Sanofi-Aventis New Zealand Limited (Sanofi)
    will be funded in the community and in DHB hospitals, subject to the same restrictions that apply to natalizumab (Tysabri) and fingolimod (Gilenya), and
  • there will be changes to the Special Authority criteria for all MS treatments relating to MRI requirements.

In addition, following consideration of feedback to consultation, the wastage rule will apply to dispensings of dimethyl fumarate and teriflunomide, so pharmacies will be able to claim for any unused stock from partly dispensed packs.

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