A drug that will significantly improve the livelihoods of people with schizophrenia has just been subsidized to become more affordable and accessible by adding to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Sydenham psychiatrist Dr. Samir Ibrahim said these advances will enable his patients and their caregivers to live more fulfilling lives not defined by schizophrenia medications.
“The availability of a new treatment option on the PBS allows us to rethink how we treat this chronic disease,” said Dr. Ibrahim.
He has been working with patients with schizophrenia for 40 years and welcomes the benefits this drug will bring to his patients in and around Brimbank.
The drug INVEGA HAFERA was added to the PBS on Aug. 1, and is a six-month injection of antipsychotic drugs that treats adults with schizophrenia. Patients will need fewer treatments per year; it gives those who receive the drug more freedom in their lives and the opportunity to spend less time on treatment.
“Long-acting injectable treatment provides an option for people living with schizophrenia, which improves their adherence to treatment, and thus decreases the number of discontinuations and relapses, leading to a better quality of life for the patient and their families,” said Dr Ibrahim.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects one in 100 people in Australia and 24 million people worldwide.
At this stage, the mental disorder cannot be cured, but can be helped with preventive measures and symptom control.
A person with schizophrenia can have up to nine relapses in less than six years. dr. Ibrahim says this can have a greater impact on their overall well-being and livelihood, allowing them to spend more time on the treatment goals they want to achieve in the long term.
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