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BA M

Any Australian users? Question on Getting Accutane

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Hello all,

I was specifically asking for the Australian scenario but I'd also welcome hearing from anyone who has tried to get Accutane before on some of my questions. Here's my story:

A year or 2 ago when I was in Singapore, I had really terrible acne. I tried a lot of stuff before I was finally put on Roaccutane, with great success that I would never have dreamt. Since then I was clear until I came to Australia. My experience with Australia has always been that I get a breakout during winter, and true to form it happened.

I have seen a doctor and been prescribed Vibramycin but it didn't help. It’s getting me in the jawline and jaw angle, and that is really debilitating for me. So I've finally managed to get an appointment to see the University dermatologist.

My questions:

1. How difficult is it generally, or specifically in Australia (I am in NSW) to get dermatologists to prescribe it?

2. I'm worried that because it's not so bad right now they will me jump the hoops of anti-biotics which I KNOW from experience doesn't wk. I'm worried they'll want it to get really bad before they'll prescribe it. I scar really badly and I can't afford screwing around while getting new ones that will each leave a scar, when I know that Roaccutane stops new ones from coming up. It's a horrible feeling every morning to see some new ones have cropped up overnight.

3. What are patient rights in terms of insisting on roaccutane medication, versus dermatologist rights to refuse?

To put it another way, are there any justifiable reasons they might not prescribe it if there are no danger contraindications, I am aware of all risks, sign all paperwork and do all blood tests?

Much of my work and dreams involve face to face contact. I do personal training, dance performance and also recently got involved in the modelling industry. I am utterly unwilling for it to get to pustular stage b4 getting on the accutane, yet absolutely TERRIFIED that that's what the dermatologist will insist on doing before prescribing it.

Thanks guys, really appreciate in advance. I’ve been dreading the dermatologist appointment and needless to say that hasn't done well for reducing new acne! I’d just like some suggestions, ideas, anything, on what I might expect and what I might do, or say, to increase my chances of getting it.

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Hi there - I'm also from Australia. I got prescribed Accutane just last week at my first dermatologist appointment (just waiting now for my blood tests to come back before I actually start).

When I went to the dermatologist I took a typed up page detailing my acne historyand the oral and topical medications I had used and was currently on (which included oral and topical antibiotics, hormone therapy [aldactone], vitamins, BP etc.). And while I only had two active spots at the time of my appointment (the tail-end of 2 cysts), the derm considered that given all the medications I had tried and was currently on, and the fact I was still getting cysts, warranted consideration of accutane. I indicated that was something I had considered and wanted to take. And so he wrote out the script, sent me for blood tests and said that once those come back ok he will email me and I can then start. All a lot more straight forward that I imagined!! :)

Best of luck with it all.

EternalTraveller

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Hi Eternal Traveller,

Thanks so much for your response. I am really starting to obsess over this. I've even researched contraindications for roaccutane on Australian websites just so I can make the case that those contraindications don't apply to me. I will certainly adopt your approach and make a list of all the medications I have tried and failed on.

May I ask if you visited a government or a private dermatologist? This is another one of my worries, that perhaps a government or university dermatologist would be a lot more conservative and less likely to prescribe it than a private one. I've been wondering if I should hold out till next Friday to see the uni dermatologist if a private one was assured (all tests being negative of course) of actually prescribing it for me.

Any idea how much Roaccutane would cost in Australia, without any subsidy?

Once again thanks!

Ba

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Hi Ba,

I went to a private dermatologist (for the hefty fee of $170 for what turned out to be about a 10 minute consultation!). Fortunately he indicated that I shouldn't need further appointments during my treatment unless I want them (e.g. if significant side effects) or if my 6 weekly bloodtest is problematic.

As for cost of roaccutane, I will be - pending my blood test being ok - picking mine up tomorrow so I will let you know. But it looks like it is covered by the PBS scheme and should be around the $34 mark for 60 tablets of 20mg (i.e. a 1 month supply if on 40mg per day) - refer this page:

Let me know how you go.

Cheers,

EternalTraveller

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Thanks Eternal Traveller! Appreciate it. I'll just have to jump the first hurdle first, which is getting the Accutane. I just know it will help me from past experience!

Cheers!

BA M

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Just picked up my script - $33.50 AUD for 60 x 20mg tablets.

Cheers

EternalTraveller

Well, guess what! After a long journey I finally got prescribed 60 x 20mg. I went to the pharamacist to be told that as an international student I wasn't covered. My price? AUD$158.97

This really f***ing sucks. I was prepared to pay 2, even 3 times the cost but FIVE times? That's enough for the complete course of accutane!

So I'm wondering if anyone has been in the same situation, and has any ideas on how to get around this. I had a friend offer to pick up the prescription but of course, the names are different so it wouldn't work. The only other recourse seems to be getting it online, but with the warnings I read in the other thread I'm really not sure who has the bona fide item or not. I don't suppose anyone here has actually ordered the stuff online and got the real deal? Not that there's any easy way to find that out either!

I find it frustrating that finally, after the cure is just within my grasp, to be wrenched away so rudely. I might be able to afford one, maybe two months, but from my past experience with it I needed to be on it for at least 10 weeks before the results were good enough to stop.

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The price Australian residents pay (I think about $33.70) is subsidised by Medicare, which is funded by Australian tax payers. The price you have been quoted is what the pharmaceutical company actually charges. You are not eligible for the subsidised price as you are not a not an Australian resident.

However, as you are in international student, you also must have international student health insurance for the time you are in Australia, since this is compulsory. Your international student health insurance should be able to cover some of the cost of your medication. I'm not sure how much, but you should definitely find out.

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