Additional support for Australians with rare skin conditions

The Morrison Government has announced it is providing additional support, reducing the out of pocket costs for hundreds of Australians living with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare genetic disorder, which requires specialised wound dressings.

Epidermolysis bullosa, which reportedly mainly affects children can be a painful and debilitating condition, resulting in extremely fragile and blister prone skin.

It’s said that around 260 Australians require specialised dressings and for those living with the most severe form of the disease, the dressings can cost them around $5000 a month.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, says the Morrison Government has approved 46 new products to be listed on the National Epidermolysis Bullosa Dressing Scheme (NEBDS) Product Schedule.

“These new products will provide additional support for Australians, helping to manage their costs for dressings, reduce their out of pocket costs,” says Minister Hunt.

“Recommended by the NEBDS Clinical Advisory Committee, the 46 additions include new and improved technology designed to enhance wound care and accelerate healing.

“In 2020-21, our Government invested $3.35 million through the NEBDS, which continues to help Australian patients access wound dressings.

“Instead of paying thousands of dollars a month, patients will only pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card for each monthly order of dressings.”

Management of the Scheme is reportedly being streamlined to enable recommended listings to occur sooner, which will improve patient access and support efficiency by enabling the Department of Health to approve minor changes and costs.

Access to the NEBDS is restricted to patients who meet the clinical eligibility criteria and are registered by a clinical expert.

Patients participating in the Scheme are required to pay a contribution equivalent to the relevant PBS co-payment for each monthly order of dressings.

For more information about the NEBDS, visit: health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/national-epidermolysis-bullosa-dressing-scheme-nebds

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