Tears of relief with breakthrough eczema drug now affordable
Australians suffering from a severe form of eczema will now have access to a life changing medicine through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Page MP Kevin Hogan said it would help support to patients and their families.
The medicine Dupixent (dupilumab) will be available to Australians over 12 years of age living with severe atopic dermatitis, also referred to as eczema, who are not adequately controlled on topical therapy.
Eczema Support Australia managing director, Melanie Funk, said it was "the best news ever".
"There will be tears of relief that this breakthrough medicine is now available for Australians with severe eczema, regardless of their ability to pay," she said.
"We offer our heartfelt thanks to the Federal Government for listening to many stories of the agony of life with eczema, and for subsidising a therapy described as 'life-changing' by those who have received early and compassionate access.
"Australians with severe eczema and their families suffer a significant financial burden due to the ongoing cost of treating eczema, as well as lost employment due to the condition, so financial distress is an area of need which this subsidy will help address.
"We're committed to improving the practical support available for the eczema community and having more treatment options that are subsidised is a critical part of that."
Dupixent is the first biologic therapy for severe eczema.
It is injected once a fortnight for the rest of a person's life.
The subsidy reduces the annual cost of the medicine from $22,800 to just $41.30 or $6.60 for concession card holders per prescription.
Mr Hogan said the government would invest more than $270 million in this new PBS medicine listing with more than 3600 people expected to benefit each year.