Visanne to be placed on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme)
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This petition is to place Visanne on the PBS in Australia, in order to make it more affordable and therefore accessible to the thousands of Australian women who are suffering from Endometriosis. Currently the drug alone costs patients anywhere from $70 to $120 per month, or $840 to $1440 per year.
Visanne is a medicine used purely to treat endometriosis; it works on reducing the growth effect of estrogen on the endometrium, therefore slowing the speed at which the disease grows and spreads in the body. This in turn reduces the chronic inflammation and severely debilitating effects of the condition; severe pelvic and all over body pain, nausea, vomiting, bowel and stomach issues, migraines, swelling of the abdomen, chronic fatigue, insomnia, pain during sex, potential fertility issues and so on. It also reduces the need for so many recurrent laparoscopic surgeries to remove the lesions and cysts, which can be very painful, expensive and results in further scar tissue and therefore more chronic pain.
Endometriosis takes on average 7 years to be diagnosed. It is an inflammatory disease, and previously it was thought to only affect the ovaries and reproductive system. However we now know this is entirely incorrect and it has been found as far spread throughout the body as the lungs and the heart.
There is NO known cure, only treatments to reduce or manage symptoms.
In some cases it can cause fertility issues or infertility, and severe debilitation of sufferers often results in their inability to maintain relationships, have children, study, work and/or participate in social gatherings. Endometriosis generally results in a reduced quality of life for many who have it. It affects the partners and male friends or family of sufferers also- so lets not pretend this is a women's only issue, as these men are dealing with the devastating ramifications of the condition whilst supporting the women they love on a daily basis.
Surgery can provide relief but for many it is only temporary, therefore medicines such as Visanne are incredibly beneficial for some.
These women have spent years and thousands of dollars on multiple naturopaths, physiotherapists, pain specialists, gynecologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and so forth before finally finding something that helps reduce symptoms.
Visanne was available in multiple countries including Europe, Canada, Brazil, Japan and South Africa. But not accessible in Australia until October of 2014, purely because Lesley and Syl Freedman petitioned for Bayer to make this medicine available to the thousands of women suffering from this debilitating disease.
This petition is written on behalf of the thousands of diagnosed endometriosis sufferers Australia wide, and those who'll be diagnosed in the future.
I now call upon the Hon Greg Hunt (Minister for Health) and the Australian Government, to place Visanne on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) which greatly reduces the cost of medicines required by the chronically ill.
When those of us in the endometriosis community have inquired as to why it is not currently listed on the PBS, we've been told that 'not enough women are affected by the disease'.
Pardon? 1 in 10 Australian women suffer from this chronic long term condition!
This is a significantly high percentage of the population.
Enough is enough, it's time to acknowledge and support women with endometriosis.
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