Botox (botulinum toxin type A) injection is now listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for moderate-to-severe lower-limb spasticity following an acute event, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
The PBS listing is seen to be an important development for survivors of neurological events who are experiencing significant disability and reduced quality of life.
It’s said to be a welcome move by the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ), which have long been advocating for the use of botulinum toxin type A for the treatment of lower limb spasticity following stroke or cerebral palsy.
“We welcome the government’s decision to subsidise Botox injection for patients with spasticity of the lower limbs following a brain or spinal cord event.
“For those not responding to other standard management approaches, this listing may help them regain function, improve their quality of life and reduce the burden on carriers,” said Rehabilitation Professor and Director of Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Chronic Pain Clinical Institute at the Epworth, Professor John Olver.
Botox injection is reportedly already listed on the PBS for patients with upper limb spasticity, meaning this lasting listing makes Botox injection the only subsidised toxin for both upper and lower limb spasticity.
“Many patients who experience spasticity face long waiting times accessing hospital clinics and when patients leave the hospital after an acute neurological event, they don’t always seek further treatment.
“A significant percentage of these patients may now be able to access Botox injection, which can provide them with better treatment outcomes and quality of life,” Chief Executive Officer of the Stroke Recovery Association, Michelle Sharkey added.