Life-changing drug expanded to kids: Hunt

Colin Brinsden
·1-min read

Children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) will soon have access to a life-changing drug through the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, federal health minister Greg Hunt says.

From December 1, subsidised access to the medicine Spinraza (nusinersen) will be expanded to include children and infants diagnosed with the most severe types of SMA before the onset of symptoms.

Without the subsidy, families would pay more than $367,000 a year for treatment.

Instead, families and their children will be able to access this life-changing medicine for $41 or $6.60 per script with a concession card.

"Left unaddressed, infants with SMA struggle to meet the simplest of development milestones such as holding their head up, sitting up by themselves, walking and standing," Mr Hunt said in a statement on Sunday.