Andrew Farrant lives a life of uncertainty.
Diagnosed with severe eosinophilic asthma, he never knows when an attack could happen.
“You can get up in the morning and feel fine, you go all throughout the day and at 10pm at night for no apparent reason, you’ll suddenly start to become very wheezy, shortness of breath, so on and so forth,” he tells the Newcastle Weekly.
“That happens in such a random sort of way that living with it is sometimes quite complicated.
“You just don’t know when it’s going to happen.”
Severe eosinophilic asthma is a subtype of severe asthma, where there are too many white blood cells in the blood and lungs, causing inflammation and an increased risk of asthma flare-ups.
But help is at hand, with a new pre-filled pen of medication (NUCALA) for patients to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from today.
According to Professor Peter Gibson, Respiratory Physician and Clinical Researcher at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), access to the new pen is timely.
“At a time when Australians have been self-isolating and spending more time at home, this new at-home administration option is especially significant,” he says.
“It may protect vulnerable patients as they will not necessarily have to visit a clinic to access their regular treatment.
“People in remote areas have had to travel many hours to receive specialist attention and medication. This frees them to now receive the treatment locally in the place that they live.”
Mr Farrant says the development could be life changing.
“Confidence is very crucial to asthmatics and if this enhances that only a few percent, it’s starting to be on a good journey.”
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