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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Gedeon Richter secures first endometriosis treatment in over a decade, with experts pushing for extension of NAPE

Health Industry Hub | February 23, 2024 |

Pharma News: The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted approval for the first endometriosis treatment in 13 years. Gedeon Richter Australia’s submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is due for consideration of reimbursement at the upcoming March 2024 meeting.

Ryeqo (relugolix, estradiol, norethisterone acetate) is a once-daily oral tablet currently available through private prescription for a duration of up to two years. Extension beyond this period is contingent upon a medical assessment by a gynaecologist. The TGA’s nod of approval is substantiated by the results from the SPIRIT 1 and SPIRIT 2 clinical trials.

Nola Marino MP, Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories, and co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends Of Endometriosis Awareness, expressed pride in the coalition’s introduction of the first National Action Plan for Endometriosis.

“Women have historically waited 6.5 or more years for a diagnosis…and have to see at least four doctors to get an accurate diagnosis. I want to encourage women with endo to sign up to the Australian National Endometriosis Clinical and Scientific Trials Registry. This site aims to build a complete picture of how endo affects people’s lives,” Ms Marino stated.

Maree Davenport, CEO of Endometriosis Australia, highlighted the continued negative impact of endometriosis on the lives of Australian women, especially in rural or less advantaged communities.

“Our recent workplace survey showed one in six people with endometriosis will lose their employment due to managing the disease, and one in three will be overlooked for a promotion,” she noted.

Professor Gino Pecoraro, a Gynaecologist and Endometriosis Specialist at The Wesley Hospital, said “I often see patients who have been suffering unnecessarily for too long, they are fed up and looking for answers to manage their endometriosis pain so they can get back to doing the things they love.”

“Many women with endometriosis live in pain every day and find themselves trapped in a cycle of struggling through their pain to go to work so they can afford the various treatments and surgeries they need to keep going, or unfortunately sat on long waiting lists for surgery. It’s important for these women to speak to their gynaecologist about all the options available to them,” said Professor Thierry Vancaillie, Gynaecologist and Pain Specialist, Women’s Health & Research Institute of Australia (WHRIA).

Gedeon Richter Australia’s General Manager, Glen Pearce, affirmed the company’s commitment to providing long-term solutions for women’s health. He expressed anticipation in working with the government to broaden access to Ryeqo, offering relief to eligible Australian women burdened by endometriosis.

In response to the pressing need for improved endometriosis care, two primary care initiatives have been established recently – 20 Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics across all Australian states and territories and the Endometriosis Management Plan.

As the nation enters the fifth and final year of the first National Action Plan for Endometriosis (NAPE), there is a growing consensus on the necessity for its extension.

“Endometriosis has been a long-neglected disease whose prevalence is similar to diabetes and asthma, yet it receives a fraction of the funding and attention. That has started to change with a strong consumer voice and collaboration between clinicians and scientists with those patient groups. With continued investment and focus, we can deliver improved health care and quality of life for people with endometriosis,” explained UNSW’s Professor Jason Abbott et al in a recent opinion piece.

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