Ease the restrictions on biological meds (bDMARD) to save RA patients from (COVID-19) risk

Ease the restrictions on biological meds (bDMARD) to save RA patients from (COVID-19) risk

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Ahmad Shady started this petition to Greg Hunt (Minister for Health) and

As the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) threat looms, we need to remember a group of very vulnerable people who are very little spoken of these days.

Those suffering from a barrage of certain autoimmune diseases (where the body's own immunity attacks parts of the body) which require drugs that suppress or modify the immunity to alleviate the progress of the disease (the ongoing irreversible damage) as well as the symptoms.

I am not a doctor, but I can easily name a few:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Those medications are usually called DMARDs (Disease-Modifying antirheumatic drugs). Some of them - in layman terms - carpet-bomb the immune system, some of them suppress it, but there always is the risk of being more susceptible to infections due to the non-selective (or barely-selective) nature of those diseases.

Recently, a scientific leap ahead in immunotherapy allowed pharmaceutical companies to breakthrough and make very selective medications that - in layman terms - "snipe" carefully the "rogue" parts of the immune system that are causing the degenerative disease without causing much (or any) damage to the other good (and much required) parts of the immune system, which are required to fight infections.

Those lovely innovative medications are called bDMARDs or Biological DMARDs. 

Unfortunately, the bDMARDs are quite expensive, so the government at the moment subsidises them under PBS with very restrictive access criteria, with approvals taking weeks if not months, to try to reduce access to those medications except for those who could not tolerate the "classical" medications. 

I understand that those measures may have (or may have not) made sense till recently, but at the moment, there are many patients who HAVE to take those immunosuppressant medications daily while risking catching a Coronavirus infection.

 

Imagine, catching an infection while taking medications that are suppressing your own immunity, not a good look for you, right? Now imagine taking those medications amidst a pandemic!

 

I am petitioning the Health Minister and the Prime Minister to reduce the restrictions (even if temporarily) to allow all patients requiring DMARDs an easy, fast, and subsidised access to bDMARDs instead, because forcing them to take DMARDs instead of bDMARDs during a pandemic will mean MANY MORE LIVES will be lost.

 

Please write to your MPs, Senators, MLCs, etc., please share with your friends, family, doctors you know, or patients suffering from any condition requiring them to be taking DMARDs daily. 


In the grand scheme of things, this might be a few more million dollars per month, but can we put a price on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians who may die?

 

Thank you.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!