06 May 2018

Life-saving medicine listed for Spinal Muscular Atrophy patients in Corangamite

The Turnbull Government will provide $241 million to list a vital and life-saving medicine which treats Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in children, cutting the cost to patients in Corangamite by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For two local families this news could not come soon enough. For Stephanie Nave and her parents Amanda and Mark and Hamish Baker and his parents Sarah and Paul this commitment means an improved quality of life.

I was delighted to join Health Minister Greg Hunt for this announcement which will be life saving and life changing.

From 1 June 2018, the Turnbull Government will make Spinraza available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3a SMA for all patients under the age of 18.

Congratulations to the Nave and Baker families along with SMA Australia who’ve worked so hard advocating for this PBS listing.

This drug at a cost of $367,860 a year, is otherwise out of the reach of families.  The PBS listing means families will now only pay a maximum of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients paying just $6.40.

SMA is an inherited genetic muscle wasting disease characterised by a loss of motor neurons. The disease is the number one genetic cause of death of babies under two in Australia.

Spinraza is the first and only treatment of its kind to be listed on the PBS for SMA. The medicine works by slowing progression of the disease and in many cases the drug can halt the progression of the disease, and for others it can significantly improve motor function.

Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising more than $8.3 billion worth of new medicines.

6 May 2017