It is one of the initiatives undertaken by the hospital to celebrate its centenary year.
As a part of these celebrations, 17 children suffering from SMA will soon be administered the expensive Spinraza (nusinersen) drug under a special programme launched at BYL Nair Hospital on Wednesday, August 4.
Nusinersen or Spinraza is a medication used in treating spinal muscular atrophy, a rare neuromuscular disorder.
The drug, which has been imported from California, costs INR 87 lakh per injection. The total annual cost of the therapy for a patient is nearly INR 6 crores in the first year and INR 3.2 crores in the subsequent years.
The selected patients will receive the therapy lifelong. This rare genetic disease is said to affect one in 10,000 children and at present, 30 children have been screened and registered for treatment at Nair Hospital.
In December 2016, it became the first approved drug used to treat this disorder. Nusinersen has an orphan drug designation in the United States and the European Union.
It is the first time, such drugs are being imported in India, said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of Nair Hospital.
In addition, on the occasion of 100 years of Nair Hospital, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the genome sequencing for COVID-19 on the same day.