Media event date: 
28 February 2021
Date published: 
1 March 2021
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Australians suffering from a severe form of eczema will now have access to a life changing medicine through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) which will provide hope and relief to many young Australians and their families.

From Monday 1 March 2021 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.

The Government will invest over $270 million in this new PBS medicine listing with more than 3,600 people expected to benefit each year.

Without PBS subsidy people might otherwise pay around $22,800 a year to access this life changing medicine.

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects the skin, causing redness, itching and sometimes infections.

Uncontrolled eczema is more than a skin condition and can affect every aspect of life for individuals and their families, including through sleep deprivation, an increased risk of skin infection, depression and anxiety.

While there is no known cure for eczema, medicines such as Dupixent® can offer relief to people from debilitating symptoms and improve quality of life.

Dupixent® is a new targeted medicine that stops the body’s immune system overreacting and producing more inflammation than is normal.

Until now, treatment of severe atopic dermatitis has focused on reducing inflammation through use of intensive topical skin treatments and broad-based systemic immunosuppressant therapies that can have widespread effects on the body.

This listing has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,550 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $12.6 billion.

The Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid

Ministers: