Berwick mum Melinda Bowd, 48, spent her teenage years and early twenties extremely active, from water sports, to ice skating and netball.
A single mother of three children, Ms Bowd, worked as a nurse and showed no signs of slowing down. She enjoyed participating in community activities and racing around after her children.
However, Mel’s life as she knew it started to change dramatically almost 20 years ago, when she was first diagnosed with psoriasis.
It was during this time, her inflammatory skin condition was met with aches and pains, a symptom she never knew was psoriatic arthritis (PsA)- a life-long condition that causes inflammation of the joints due to an overactive immune system that mistakenly targets the body, causing the joints to become painful, stiff and often swollen.
“It affected me mentally as well as physically, and the pain/fatigue made me feel depressed and eventually not able to do all the things I used to including working full time,” she said.
“With pain and depression, it became a vicious cycle of one making the other worse. I was sleeping a lot, stopped going out and was basically housebound just to manage my symptoms.”
Ms Bowd put her aches and pains down to childhood sports injuries, and instead, underwent a series of arthroscopies.
Her joint pain persisted, and it was 11 years later that she finally received a definitive diagnosis for psoriatic arthritis.
“Though it took time, with a great medical team working together we were able to find the best treatment options for the skin condition of psoriasis, joint pain psoriatic arthritis and depression,” she explained.
“I’m now living a great life (though adjusted) with my pain well managed. I’m still youngish and want to be active with my very supportive family.”
A new treatment option for Australians living with known as psoriatic arthritis is now available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Around 50,000 Australians are thought to be living with diagnosed psoriatic arthritis,
Australians living with PsA will now have access to a new treatment option, thanks to the Australian Government’s decision to list TALTZ® on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The listing means patients will only have to pay the PBS co-payment price of $40.30 for a standard script, or $6.50 for concession card holders, to access the treatment.
“The PBS listing of TALTZ for adult patients with severe psoriatic arthritis is welcome news. Psoriatic arthritis is a progressive condition and over time, joint pain can lead to increased disability and decreased function. It is important that patients have access to alternate therapies to hel improve their symptom control,” Professor Stephen Hall, Melbourne-based Rheumatologist said.
If people are concerned about symptoms of PsA they should speak with their doctor about treatment that would be appropriate for them.