PM promises muscular dystrophy treatment decision this week

Archie meets the prime minister to ask for the drugs to be made available on the NHS. Credit: Action4Archie

A decision on a drug that could offer a ten-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy the chance to walk for longer will be made this week, the Prime Minister has said.

A breakthrough drug, already approved and funded in Scotland, could be available for the first time on the NHS in England.

Archie Hill, a young sufferer of the disease has led a high profile campaign for the drug Translarna to be made available to him and 50 other boys in England with the condition.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is set to announce its decision to approve Translarna on Friday.

ITV News Correspondent Emily Morgan reports:

Archie was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2008 at just three years old. Duchenne is a severe degenerative Muscle wasting disease that leads to paralysis.

The campaign group Action4Archie has kept up pressure to provide the drug on the NHS, with Archie himself making a plea to David Cameron to intervene.

Cheryl Gillan, Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham, asked the Prime Minister for assurances that the drug will be made available in England.

Responding to the question, David Cameron said:

Archie campaigning with Arsenal footballer Jack Wilshere. Credit: Action4Archie

Earlier this year, four-year-old Cormac Fegan became the first British patient to be prescribed Translarna in Scotland on the NHS.

NHS England deferred a decision to improve Translarna in June pending guidance from NICE.

Muscular Dystrophy causes irreversible muscle damage and problems with heart and lung muscles mean most sufferers do not currently live beyond 30.