HSE approves ‘life-changing’ drug for children with spinal disease - (The Irish Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Ireland's Health Service Executive has approved Novartis' gene therapy Zolgensma for use under reimbursement to treat children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), reported The Irish Times.

  • The therapy has a one-off treatment cost of $2.1 million in the US.

  • Ireland reached a price agreement as a member of the BeNeLuxA Initiative, a partnership approach to pharmaceutical policy with Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria.

  • The scheme aims to secure sustainable access to high quality and affordable medicines for participating countries.

  • Considerable engagement and negotiation with Novartis has allowed Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands to jointly reach an agreement on the price of a drug for the first time, according to the Irish department of health.

  • Zolgensma was granted conditional marketing authorisation in the EU in May 2020. 

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