Many Canadian eczema sufferers are dealt a difficult blow; many patients face a future with no access to promising new treatment.

OTTAWA, Sept. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) jointly express disappointment with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health’s (CADTH) recommendation to not reimburse the cost of a new and promising drug, Dupixent™ (dupilumab) for patients suffering from moderate to severe eczema.

The CADTH recommendation impacts patients on public insurance plans.

CADTH’s recommendation not to cover Dupixent™ places many patients, who do not have access to private insurance plans, at risk of missing out on the best treatment for severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) currently available.

Earlier this year, Dupixent™ was approved by Health Canada as being effective and safe for people suffering from moderate to severe eczema. Dupixent™ is the first biologic therapy designed to target the root cause of this chronic inflammatory disease. Many private insurance plans cover the cost of Dupixent™, which has allowed dermatologists and allergists the opportunity to see incredible improvements in patients who have failed both the standard topical treatments, and even systemic ones (none of which are approved by Health Canada).

Dermatologists and allergists have started to see patients leading much more normal lives once they begin their Dupixent™ treatment, often for the first time in years. Additionally, eczema sufferers say they can sleep, are no longer isolated, and can now ‘think straight’ as one Dupixent™-treated patient reported.

The results we are seeing are significant, even life-altering – especially when considering many eczema patients suffer from severe itch and rash with terrible effects on their quality of life with the older therapies.

Dupixent™ should be made available to every Canadian suffering from moderate to severe eczema, no matter their insurance plan – public or private. Sadly, CADTH’s recommendation not to cover the cost of Dupixent™ for patients suffering from eczema hits patients who are on disability or social insurance the hardest – people who cannot hold a job as a result of their severe condition. As a result of CADTH’s recommendation, these Canadians will not get access to the best treatment and will not be able to return to work.

As physicians, we are committed to the goal of making sure that everyone regardless of their economic situation will be able to lead a healthy life, with healthy skin. The reality is that older therapies do not meet this goal.

The CDA and CSACI hope that the public payers will have an open mind when reviewing the evidence, listen to the feedback from current patients, and ensure that agreements are reached, so the suffering for eczema patients ends. The two associations agree that treatment should not be dependent upon the type of insurance plan that covers a patient. All Canadians suffering from moderate to severe eczema deserve equal access to Dupixent™.

Neil H. Shear, MD, FRCPC, FACP
President, Canadian Dermatology Association

David Fischer, MD, FRCPC, FCSACI
President, Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

About the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA)
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian certified dermatologists. The association provides easy access to a reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public. To learn more about what the work CDA does visit dermatology.ca or join the conversation on twitter.com/CdnDermatology, facebook.com/CdnDermatology, or instagram.com/canadiandermatologyassociation/.

About the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI)
The CSACI is the largest national professional medical specialty organization in Canada representing allergists, physicians, allied health professionals and scientists with special expertise in the management of allergic and immunologic diseases. The Society is also dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with allergies through research, and continuing professional development and public education.


For further information, please contact:
Nimmi Lawrence, Officer, Marketing and Communications
Office: 1-800-267-3376, ext. 228, email: nlawrence@dermatology.ca

Louise Tremblay, CSACI Executive Director
Office: 613-986-5869, email: info@csaci.ca