Medicine worth Rs 15.592 crore given for free to baby affected with genetic disorder in Kozhikode
Kozhikode: One of the most expensive medicines in the world was given to a girl child at a private hospital here free of cost. The medicine that costs Rs 15.592 crore (21.25 lakh US Dollars) for a single dose was given to a 23-month-old baby. The injection 'Zolgensma' is used in the treatment of the babies born with serious genetic disorders.
The baby of a Nilambur native couple was given the medicine on October 7. The child was affected with Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). She was being treated at Aster MIMS hospital in Kozhikode. Pediatric neurologist Dr Smilu Mohanlal was treating the baby.
The kid was referred to MIMS from Kozhikode Government Medical College. Normally, the medicine causes side effects, but the child is fine till now. The baby was discharged after treatment. However, the effect of the medicine can be evaluated only later, the doctor said. The children with SMA are likely to get paralysed or have weak bones.
The Federal Food and Administration has granted permission to inject the medicine only upto two years of age. It was approved only in May 2019. In India, the medicine was tested only in 5 children. It can be injected only once on a patient. The medicine was made available as part of the compassionate project of the pharmaceutical company.
Dr Smilu and MIMS authorities contacted the company through an international association of pediatricians. They have an agreement not to reveal the name of the company. The baby was included as one among the 100 children all over the world for whom the company offered the medicine for free.
Dr Smilu said that early detection of disease is crucial for children with SMA. The medicine was invented after 10 years of research. It was effective on 3 children in India. Though it was developed 5 years ago, the permission to use it on patients was granted only last year, she added.