Government urged to help Australians
driven to suicide by skin condition
Australians living with an excruciatingly painful skin condition that forces many to survive on a few hours of broken sleep a night are being placed at increased risk of suicide because life-changing therapy remains out of reach in Australia.
Eczema Support Australia Managing Director, Melanie Funk has written to the Federal Government’s suicide prevention advisor, Christine Morgan, calling for urgent reimbursement of a biologic medicine for severe eczema as a suicide prevention measure.
The letter includes examples of numerous Australians who have contemplated or attempted suicide due to the distress caused by the unrelenting skin condition and delays in access to breakthrough therapy that is widely available overseas.
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with eczema are 44% more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation and 36% more likely to attempt suicide compared to those without the condition.1
In her letter, Ms Funk highlights that: “Australians have already considered suicide and will do so again if medicine known as Dupixent is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme”.
“We worry that limited understanding of the severity of eczema means limited understanding of the suffering caused by delays in making this medicine affordable,” she said.