Add Visanne to the PBS for Australian Endometriosis sufferers

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To Bayer Australia and New Zealand, 

I ask that you add Visanne to the PBS and reduce the financial cost to Australian women suffering from endometriosis.  

Endometriosis is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body. 

Approximately 1 in 10 Australian women (around 730,000) suffer with endometriosis at some point in their life with the disease often starting in teenagers. Symptoms are variable and this may contribute to the 7 to 12 year delay in diagnosis.

Common symptoms include pelvic pain that puts life on hold around or during a woman’s period. It can damage fertility. Whilst endometriosis most often affects the reproductive organs it is frequently found in the bowel and bladder and has been found in muscle, joints, the lungs and the brain. In an Australian government report, endometriosis is reported to cost Australian society $7.7 billion annually with two thirds of these costs attributed to loss in productivity with the remainder, approximately $2.5 billion being direct healthcare costs.

Women who have endometriosis experience significant medical issues and multiple surgeries, and often cannot hold down employment due to the ongoing and unpredictable nature of the condition.    This creates financial difficulties in meeting the cost of ongoing treatment and management.

A medication used to treat Endometriosis, Visanne, has been commonly used in the past few years in Australia.   This medication can cost around $70 per month (at minimum dosage) out of pocket because it is not included in the PBS.   It may cost more for women prescribed a higher dose.

We need this medication added to the PBS to reduce the financial burden of receiving proper medical treatment for Endometriosis for women who are already under financial pressure.