Parkinson’s treatment subsidised

A once-daily treatment patch for Parkinson’s disease has been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme making it more readily available to the 60,000 Australians with the condition.

Australians with Parkinson’s disease now have subsidised access to a once-daily treatment patch following the product’s listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive brain disorder affecting more than 64,000 Australians.

The patch Neupro (Rotigotine Transdermal System) provides a continuous delivery over 24 hours of dopamine, a chemical produced by cells in the brain that gradually deteriorate in people with Parkinson’s, to help patients control their symptoms.

Leading world expert in Parkinson’s research and treatment Professor Peter Silburn announced Neupro’s PBS listing in Sydney today at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

Parkinson’s NSW CEO Miriam Dixon has welcomed greater access of the treatment.

“This PBS listing means Australians now have greater choice in managing their condition,” Ms Dixon said.

“Australia is lagging behind other countries in terms of Parkinson’s treatments. There aren’t as many options here as overseas,” she said.

Prof Silburn, a Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Queensland, said the government’s decision to subsidise Neupro was an important advance in treating Parkinson’s disease.

“Parkinson’s affects the central nervous system, causing involuntary tremor, stiffness, slow movement and loss of balance.

“While treatments are available to help manage these symptoms, some patients experience a significant decline in motor function in between doses, known as ‘off’ periods,” said Professor Silburn. 

“A major challenge in treating Parkinson’s is reducing these ‘off’ periods, particularly upon awakening.”

The 24-hour duration of Neupro means the severity and duration of off-periods may be reduced, he said. 

A clinical study has also found Neupro enhances the quality of ‘on’ states when added to existing Parkinson’s medications, Prof Silburn said.

“For instance, patients using the patch improve problems such as early morning ‘freezing’ of gait, and involuntary movements known as dyskinesia.”

Parkinson’s disease has been found to also lead to non-motor symptoms such as depression, anxiety and slowed thought processes.

Ms Dixon said Parkinson’s had a significant impact on the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of people living with the condition and on their carers.

“During the course of the condition, which may span several decades, Parkinson’s may also affect lifestyle and employment opportunities,” Ms Dixon said.

Approximately 20 per cent of people living with Parkinson’s in Australia are aged15 to 64, she said.

People living with Parkinson’s and their families can call Parkinson’s NSW on 1800 644 189 for support, general information about treatment options, educational seminars and counseling services or visit the Parkinson’s NSW website

Tags: miriam-dixon, neupro, parkinsons-disease, parkinsons-nsw, peter-silburn,

3 thoughts on “Parkinson’s treatment subsidised

  1. I work as a registered nurse in an aged care facility.How does the patch effect the elderly

  2. Is this patch avail to anyone throughout Australia and should all Neurologist be aware that this is available?
    Thanking you

  3. My Sister sent me an email with this article in it.
    It would be fabulous for my 75 year old Husband as he gets very confused with his medications.
    I hope he would be able to use the patches.

    thank you.

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