Australia has the cheapest rosacea treatments in the world!


Being a rosacea sufferer in Australia can be a depressing experience. It seems that the rest of the English speaking world get all the latest and greatest treatments years before we do here downunder. New treatments can take years to be approved in Australia. We Ozzies suffer from a bit of an insecurity complex because we are a small country, a long way from anywhere and often feel overlooked. Indeed, treatments like Metrogel 1% and Oracea are not, and probably will never be made available in Australia.

But all is not doom and gloom for rosacea sufferers in Australia. We enjoy comparatively affordable access to rosacea prescriptions. We have the Australian Government to thank for our easy and cheap access to most of the prescriptions we might need.

Australian Prescription Costs

Like most countries, how much you pay for a prescription in Australia is a pretty complicated story.

PBS Covered Prescriptions

In Australia, the Government subsidizes the prices of a list of prescription drugs. This list is known as The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or “The PBS”. Once a drug is listed on the PBS, you can expect to pay between $6.10 and $37.70 for most PBS medicines. The Australian Government pays the remaining cost. You can imagine that drug companies would love to have all of their portfolio listed on the PBS as mostl Australians would be able to afford an unlimited amount of your product.

The Government will only list a drug on the PBS if that drug offers a unique benefit and is able to be sourced for a reasonable cost (as determined by the Government).

Having complained about Metrogel 1% and Oracea never being available downunder, it is worth noting here that these 2 medications would have a difficult time showing that they offer a treatment option that is not offered by existing products. This is the reason that Metrogel 1% and Oracaea are unlikely to ever get listed on the PBS.

Private Prescriptions

Becoming listed on the PBS can take years and it may never be the case that you can prove to the Australian Government that your drug meets their guidelines.

The PBS cost the Australian taxpayers $AUD 9.1B in 2014. Individual drugs may cost the Government hundreds of millions of dollars each. The three drugs with the highest cost to the government in 2014 were Rosuvastatin ($287.9m), Atorvastatin ($279.2m) and Adalimumab ($272.7m).

An alternative available to drug makers is to make their products available as a private prescription. In this case patients will pay the full price for the product, but still need a doctor’s prescription. Private Health Insurance may offer some benefits towards private prescriptions, but the amount of cover and selection of medications subsidized is very much specific to each private health fund. See your insurance provider to see if they cover the private prescriptions listed.

Drug suppliers and pharmacies are able to negotiate pricing, so you should shop around if you are looking for more competitively priced private prescriptions.

Australian Rosacea Prescription Treatment Costs

TreatmentAvailability Cost $AUDAU Cost in $USDTypical Full US Price
Finacea 30gmOver the counter$25.95$18.50$284.30 USD
Mirvaso 30gmPrivate Prescription$77.95$56$400 USD
Soolantra 30gmPrivate Prescription$55.95$40$280 USD
Rozex Gel 30gmPrivate Prescription$41.65$29$300 USD (Metrogel 1%)
Rozex Cream 30gmPrivate Prescription$57.55$41$300 USD (Metrogel 1%)
Doryx 50mg x25PBS Prescription$17.55 $12.50
Oracea 40mgNot Available
Accutane 10mg x 60PBS Prescription$37.70$27$200

Finacea Cost in Australia

Finacea is available over the counter at pharmacies in Australia. You can expect to pay around $30 for a tube.

See the following links for possible online sources of Finacea: ChemistDirect

NPS Medicinewise link: Finacea Consumer Medicine Information

Mirvaso Cost in Australia

Mirvaso is available as private prescription. You need a doctor’s prescription, and expect to pay around $78 for each tube.

NPS Medicinewise: Mirvaso Consumer Medicine Information

Soolantra Cost in Australia

Soolantra is available as private prescription. You need a doctor’s prescription, and expect to pay around $56 for each tube.

NPS Medicinewise: Soolantra Consumer Medicine Information

Rozex Cost in Australia

Rozex is the Australian version of Metrogel, made by Galderma. Rozex is available as a 0.75% cream – Rozex Cream or 0.75% gel – Rozex GEL.

You can expect to pay around $42 for Rozex gel and $57 for Rozex cream.

Orion Laboratories also make a 0.5% Metrondazole gel.

NPS Medicinewise links: Rozex Cream , Rozex GEL, and Metronidazole 0.5%

Accutane Cost in Australia

Accutance (Roaccutane/Isotretinoi) is one of the prescriptions that requires special authority. This means that your doctor needs approval before being able to write you the script.

You can expect to pay $37.70 for 60 10mg tablets of Accutane.

NPS Medicinewise links: Accutane (also Isotretinoin and suicide risk)

Cetaphil Costs

Just for further comparison, here is what you might expect to pay for Cetaphil products in Australia. Most of these are easily found at local pharmacies or large supermarkets.

ProductCost in AUDCost in USD
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 500 mL$AUD 16.49$12 USD
Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion 500 mL$AUD 17.29 $12.50 USD

Life is Good Downunder

We have great beaches, plenty of sunshine, and excellent access to healthcare. So, form an orderly line to emigrate to Aussie 🙂

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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5 Reader Comments

  1. comment via facebook.

    “The US health care system is officially a racket, if Australia didn’t possess all those venomous snakes I could consider a move South LOL!”

  2. Samantha Keim says:

    Hi David have you heard of the Kleresca Treatment. I believe it’s being used in Europe for Rosacea. What are your thoughts?

  3. Can anyone help with first hand experience of chemist direct?

    “Is a reputable place for me to purchase Finacea online? I’m paranoid about getting ripped off.”

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