Crowdfunding life-saving treatment

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A GIRL in India successfully received 160 million rupees (RM9.1mil) worth of a gene therapy drug for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) through a crowdfunding effort, Makkal Osai reported.

Mithra Sathishkumar suffers from the rare genetic condition which requires the life-saving drug Zolgensma but the family could not afford the astronomical price tag.

A crowdfunding effort raised the amount needed while bipartisan political pressure from the state saw the central government agree to waive the 60 million rupees (RM3.4mil) import tax levied on the drug.

Mithra received the injection last week at a Bangalore hospital and is expected to return home with her parents soon.

The single dose therapy of 55ml of the drug should optimally be administered to the afflicted children before they turn two years old.

About 90 to 100 cases of SMA are reported in Tamil Nadu annually.

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