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New treatments subsidised for acne, pain

28 February 2006

New treatments subsidised for acne, pain

A new anti-acne cream is one of two new skin creams to be fully subsidised from 1 March.

Hydrogen peroxide cream (Crystacide) is an anti-infective skin cream that provides an alternative to the antibiotic-containing skin creams that are used to treat acne.

PHARMAC Chief Executive Wayne McNee says the listing of hydrogen peroxide cream follows a high priority recommendation from the anti-acne sub-committee of PTAC (the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee).

"There is a risk that the use of topical antibiotics such as fusidic acid and mupirocin can lead to bacterial resistance, and this can limit the effectiveness of antibiotics," Wayne McNee says.

"So it is pleasing to be able to subsidise hydrogen peroxide cream as it will enable a reduction in the use of the antibiotic creams."

And patients with neuropathic pain will have a new subsidised treatment in the form of capsaicin cream (Zostrix HP).

Capsaicin cream is to be subsidised for the treatment of neuropathic (nerve-related) pain, and targeted at post-herpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Used regularly, it helps to desensitise the treated area and has benefits over other treatments for neuropathic pain because it can be applied directly to the affected area.

Capsaicin cream is the latest pain relief treatment added to the Pharmaceutical Schedule in moves which have also seen oxycodone and fentanyl patches added for general pain relief, and gabapentin subsidised for neuropathic pain.

The two skin creams are listed as the result of an agreement with AFT Pharmaceuticals.

ENDS


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