Media event date: 
23 January 2022
Date published: 
24 January 2022
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

From 1 February 2022, Australians with severe atopic dermatitis will have access to a new treatment listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Australians aged 12 years or older living with this form of dermatitis will benefit from the extended listing of Rinvoq® (upadacitinib) on the PBS.

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition affecting the skin, causing redness, itching and sometimes infections.

Uncontrolled eczema has a significant impact on the day to day life of patients and their families, including sleep deprivation, an increased risk of skin infection, depression and anxiety.

Rinvoq® helps to improve the condition of the skin, reducing itching and flares by blocking enzymes which create signals in the body’s immune system resulting in inflammation.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said this listing will benefit around 3,600 Australians a year.

“Without this subsidy, patients might pay more than $27,000 per year treatment, instead they’ll pay $42.50 or as little as $6.80 per script,” Minister Hunt said.

“Since 2013, the Coalition Government had approved more than 2,800 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 $14 billion.

“Our Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.”

The listing of Rinvoq® on the PBS has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Former ministers: