With the addition of these centers, there are now 11 National Health Service Foundation Trust sites across the country that offer the disease-modifying therapy developed by Biogen, according to a press release from Muscular Dystrophy UK.
In addition to these centers, Spinraza treatment is also available at Nottingham University Hospitals, Oxford University Hospitals, Salford Royal, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, St. George’s University Hospitals, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, University College London Hospitals, and University Hospitals Birmingham.
In May 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended the therapy for NHS funding, enabling SMA patients of all ages to be treated with Spinraza in England. The decision made Spinraza the first treatment targeting the underlying cause of SMA to be included in the country’s public health program for presymptomatic and symptomatic SMA types 1, 2, and 3.
An independent body, NICE provides advice and standards for healthcare, including which licensed medicines the NHS will fund. Previously, the agency had recommended against Spinraza’s inclusion into the subsidized public health system due to concerns over its long-term effectiveness and high cost.
Also last year, NHS England and Biogen established an agreement to continue to observe the impact of the NHS-funded treatment for a limited time period, allowing for the collection of further data on its effectiveness.
Based on available clinical evidence, NICE and NHS England announced amendments to the managed access agreement for Spinraza after reconsideration of agreement eligibility. In July 2019, NICE issued its final guidance for Spinraza treatment.
It is estimated that between 600 and 1,200 children and adults in the United Kingdom currently live with SMA.
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