HSE drugs group decides against approving drug for rare muscle-wasting disease - (The Irish Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) drugs group has again decided against approving Biogen's Spinraza, the only treatment on the market for spinal muscular atrophy, reported The Irish Times.

  • According to the news source, the group voted by a narrow majority last week against reimbursing Spinraza, despite a revised price application by Biogen.

  • Since then, Spinraza has been approved for use in the UK's NHS, leaving Ireland in an "isolated position," commented HSE director general Paul Reid.

  • The application by Biogen will now be considered by the HSE leadership team in early June, he said, adding that talks with the company in relation to the drug's cost-effectiveness would continue.

  • Earlier this year, the HSE said the drug would cost about 600 000 euros in the first year to treat each of the 25 Irish children with the disease and 380 000 euros a year after that, "with an estimated budget impact in excess of 20 million euros over a five-year period."

  • Biogen subsequently issued a revised price proposal, saying it was in line with the final price negotiated in other European countries that have approved the drug, the news source reported.

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