Jorveza® for Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE)
Eligible Australian adults living with an increasingly prevalent, life-long immune system disease will gain access to a new treatment listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) on 1 May 2022. Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) (e-o-sin-o-FILL-ik-uh-sof-uhJIE-tis) is estimated to affect one in 2,000 Australian adults. The disease occurs when a specific type of white blood cell (eosinophils) builds up in the lining of the oesophagus (the tube that connects the mouth with the stomach), which can, over time, result in difficulty and pain with swallowing, chest pain, and regurgitation of food. It can also result in food getting stuck in the oesophagus in 30–50% of those untreated. Jorveza is Australia’s first treatment for adults living with EoE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and subsidised by the PBS. In a recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia, experts urged healthcare professionals to prioritise the early diagnosis and treatment of those living with EoE, to prevent permanent damage to the oesophagus and emergency hospital presentations. In adults, EoE can take up to 6 years from symptom onset to diagnosis, which may cause anxiety and depression in some patients. Around 75% of those living with EoE have a history of other allergies, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), eczema or asthma. Although there is currently no cure for EoE, treatment aims to significantly reduce the build-up of eosinophils in the oesophagus, thereby reducing inflammation, scarring and thickening of tissue, and associated symptoms.
If you have EoE, ask your doctor if you are eligible for this new treatment.
To learn more about EoE, head to the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia website.