Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, in his statement on the latest developments in SMA disease, announced that gene therapy applied abroad will be tested on a patient group that is determined to be effective in Turkey as well. Koca said in his statement, “We are extremely sensitive about SMA. We do not tolerate the use of this disease as a tool of abuse. We have the SMA Science Board. Provision of drugs with proven benefits is provided. The SMA Scientific Committee determined to whom gene therapy could be applied, and which patient group it could be used in. We made our plan to be implemented. It will be implemented soon,” he said.
Kamile Kurt, President of the Association for Combating Genetic Diseases, evaluated gene therapy as a positive step. Kurt said, “From the beginning, all our efforts were for these children to be treated by the state. The decision is positive, but we are not happy. As with other drugs, many of our children will be left out if criteria are met for its application. All children who can see the effect should be included in this treatment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister Koca also announced that a new hospital will be established in Istanbul for the treatment of rare diseases.
THERE ARE CHILDREN WITH 400 SMA
Stating that 0-2 age group is suitable for gene therapy in many countries, Kamile Kurt, President of the Association for Combating Genetic Diseases, said, “According to the hearsay, it will be applied to babies aged 0-6 months in our country. There are approximately 400 children with SMA Type 1 in Turkey. Treatment should include all children. The process of initiating treatment also needs to be accelerated. We will go to Ankara next week to speed up the process,” he said.