Breaking news: Relief in sight for people with severe eczema - 27 February 2021
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) applauds the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, on announcing the launch of Dupixent® with government subsidy for people aged 12 years and over with severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) who have not responded favourably to topical creams and ointments. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of Dupixent® means that from next week, the medication will be more affordable and available for the many Australians whose lives are greatly impacted by eczema.
Maria Said, CEO of A&AA stated, “This is a huge milestone; the first medication of its kind for use for severe eczema in Australia.”
In April 2020 we announced the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s recommendation to list Dupixent® on the PBS. It has been a long year of advocacy and negotiation to make the medication that has been life changing for those in clinical research trials, available to all who are eligible. Dupixent® must be prescribed by an immunologist or a dermatologist. The individual must remain under their care to continue to access the lifelong treatment that has already changed the lives of a small number of people who have been able to access the medication.
Maria Said thanked the Australian government for making this medication, that has been available overseas for some time, accessible to Australians who suffer with severe eczema daily. She said, “Severe eczema greatly affects sleep, family life, social and work life. People affected now have real hope of shaping a brighter future and can hopefully take part in and do the simple things that so many of us take for granted.”
Many that started on Dupixent® (an injection every two weeks) have reported the medication is life changing. Some have not been to the beach in years, others now wear short sleeve tops and shorts or a skirt and other don’t have to wash their bloodied sheets every day. They still need to use their creams and manage their eczema but it is ‘manageable’ and is not the focus of every hour, every day.
Sincere thanks to Minister Hunt for acknowledging that allergic disease can greatly impact people’s quality of life. We also thank the many disheartened, brave people who told their stories and shared their personal experiences of grief, pain, isolation and despondence. By sharing your life stories, you have helped all Australians with severe eczema access a treatment that will significantly improve lives.
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia urges people with severe eczema to make an appointment to see their dermatologist or immunologist so they can be considered for Dupixent®. We hope the desperate people who have contacted A&AA in recent years, especially those in the last twelve months, can now promptly see their immunologist or dermatologist and if eligible, step forward knowing they can afford a treatment that will very likely greatly improve their lives and that of their family.
We encourage people to reach out to A&AA for guidance as needed. Please call 1300 728 000 or contact us to connect with of our health educators.