New Drug “Saphnelo” to Treat Severe Lupus Recommended for listing on PBS

On World Lupus Day, Lupus Victoria is pleased to announce that a new drug, Saphnelo, to treat patients with moderate to severe, active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been recommended for listing on the PBS. This means that Saphnelo will become affordable for Australian lupus patients.

While Saphnelo will not be formally listed on the PBS for some months, the manufacturer will provide the drug at the PBS price to patients who meet the PBS eligibility criteria, when prescribed by their rheumatologist.

Saphnelo was approved by the Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA) on 29 March 2022. Saphnelo is the first specific drug to treat Lupus to be approved by the TGA in 60 years.  Using tools developed by the outstanding Monash University lupus research team, headed by Professor Eric Morand, and following three attempts from the manufacturer  to get Saphnelo on to the PBS, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee approved the listing of the new drug.

Monash University is now a world leader in Lupus research and is focused on finding a cure. Professor Morand actually led the global clinical trial that resulted in this new medicine being approved.

While recommending Saphnelo for listing on the PBS is a major breakthrough for Lupus patients, research funds are urgently needed to continue research to find a cure for Lupus.  If you would like help fund this  critical research, please donate to the Kim Jolly Lupus Research Fund or register for the Lupus Victoria Charity Golf Day .

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