Sadly, Novartis has decided to withdraw their application for Aimovig to be listed on the PBS. This announcement was made today, October 28 2019. Aimovig is being withdrawn from the November meeting of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).
This decision is due to the PBAC’s decision on Emgality, which recommended it be added to the PBS, but limits the number of patients for both Emgality and Botox to the current Botox cap. This in effect means the PBAC is bullying the drug companies to give away their products for free. This is unfair, and very disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of Australians living with migraine who just want their lives back.
We are disappointed, but we understand Novartis’ decision. If Novartis had continued with the doomed application, they would not have been able to say anything about it until December 20, because the PBAC rules don’t allow them to. Withdrawing the application now enables people living with migraine more time to make decisions, get in to see their neurologists, and it means people won’t miss the news during the busy Christmas/New Year period.
This decision will be distressing for many people in our community. If you need support, reach out to the community in the Migraine Australia Chat Group, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are currently taking Aimovig, please talk to your neurologist about what your options are, or read here for more information.