Eczema Support Australia held a very successful ‘morning tea’ meeting in the Federal Parliament on 27 February to raise awareness of severe eczema and highlight the need for better support and affordable treatment access.
This was the culmination of a three-month ‘SOS – Save Us From Eczema’ campaign which Eczema Support Australia launched before Christmas. This generated ongoing media interest. The campaign name was chosen based on the international distress call, and also stands for ‘Share Our Stories’ and ‘Save Our Skin’.
The 20 strong patient delegation attending spoke movingly about the need for affordable access to biologic therapy Dupixent (dupilumab). A report was also presented to Parliament. Some of the delegation have received compassionate access to this medicine and described it as ‘life-changing’.
Others spoke about their continued suffering as they cannot afford the medicine unless it is PBS listed. They urged the Government to list the medicine on the PBS.
Founder and Managing Director of Eczema Support Australia, Melanie Funk, issued a plea to the Federal Government to set aside funding in the Federal Budget. This would prevent further delays in the medicine being available.
Feedback from Federal MPs at the morning tea was incredibly positive. MPs reported they had no idea of the impact eczema had on people. They were ‘blown away’ by the descriptions of living with severe eczema.
Melanie Funk also met with the Federal Health Minister’s advisor in Canberra. The Health Minister is very aware of the campaign – It generated significant media coverage including this article https://bit.ly/33BQrxB and ABC News https://bit.ly/2vxuSlc
ADNA representative Deryn Thompson, attended the morning tea. She said “Eczema Support Australia is doing an incredible job raising awareness of eczema and also building a community link, so that people with eczema don’t feel alone.” “I strongly recommend that ADNA members tell their patients with eczema about Eczema Support Australia.”
Watch highlights of the morning tea here: https://www.facebook.com/EczemaSUPPORTAustralia/