Monday 5 of December, 2022
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Medication for Pediatric Muscular Dystrophy Exempt from Medical Tax

Medicine for pediatric muscular dystrophy such as Zolgensma, one of the most expensive drugs in the world, will now be exempt from medical stamp tax, according to a decision by the Ministry of Health.

John Bichara

The Ministry of Health and Population has published a decision to remove the medical stamp tax from medicine to treat children with muscular dystrophy. The decision includes medication like Zolgensma, a gene therapy medication for spinal muscular atrophy. While Zolgensma is considered crucial for children under two years old to live with the condition, it is one of the most expensive drugs in the world at USD 2.1 million per dose - although pharmaceutical companies often provide free limited access to countries such as Egypt.

The government has been quickly developing a stronger system for the treatment of children with muscular dystrophy over the past few months. As recently as June 2021, the Egyptian National Drug Authority approved Risdiplam, the first drug in Egypt to treat spinal muscular atrophy. Through July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Population allocated 24 clinics nationwide for children with muscular dystrophy, and signed an agreement with Switzerland's Novartis Pharmaceutical Company to develop a national strategy to provide treatment for those suffering from muscular dystrophy across Egypt.

The Ministry of Health and Population has set up a hotline for anyone who’d like to inquire about the national initiative to combat these conditions and the treatments which are currently available, which you can call by dialling 106.