Spinraza, a drug used to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), has been approved for children on respirators and adult patients, the Steering Committee of the Croatian Health Insurance Agency (HZZO) said on Friday.
HZZO Director Lucijan Vukelic told a press conference that after today's decision which is based on the opinion of an expert commission for medicines, SMA will be prescribed for all patients for a period of six months after which patients will be tested again. If it is proved that the medication is not having any positive effect, that treatment will not be continued.
Health Minister Milan Kujundzic recalled that Croatia was among the first countries in Europe to start giving this drug in line with the rules of the profession which has also been done with this latest decision.
In Croatia There are currently 12 patients being treated with SMA and another 14 are using the drug as part of a clinical study. The exact number of potential patients that could be put on this therapy is not known, however, it is presumed that the total annual cost of Spinraza could be about HRK 150 million.