Limavady mum welcomes ‘specialist drug’ move as ‘positive’


The mum of a Limavady boy who has been campaigning for her son to access life enhancing treatment has welcomed news more patients in Northern Ireland could soon have access to specialist drugs not routinely available on the NHS.

It follows a decision by Health Minister Simon Hamilton to change the criteria used to determine who can apply for drugs which have not been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Laura Smith has been campaigning for her son, Callum McCorriston, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, to access the drug Translarna. Laura said Callum is the only boy in Northern Ireland who could benefit from Translarna but does not have access to it, which she believes would give Callum a better quality of life.

Laura is still waiting on news of her six-year-old son’s Individual Funding Request application from the Health and Social Care Board. Previous applications were denied because officials said they did not have enough information, said Laura.

Laura said today’s news is a step in the right direction.

“They had told us in the case of an IFR for Callum we had to prove there were exceptional circumstances, but it seems that won’t apply. God willing these changes will make it easier for Callum to get the drug he desperately needs,” Laura told the ‘Journal’.

Last month, Laura met with an official from the Board in Limavady about the latest application and was told more information was needed to make the application “more robust”.