Mother welcomes specialist drug move as a positive step

Callum McCorriston
Callum McCorriston

A Limavady woman who has been campaigning for her son to have access to life enhancing treatment has welcomed news that 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.

Ms Smith 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 him a better quality of life.

She is still waiting on news of her six-year-old son’s individual funding request application from the Health and Social Care Board.

Ms Smith said yesterday’s news was a step in the right direction.

“God willing these changes will make it easier for Callum to get the drug he desperately needs,” she told the Derry Journal.

Making his announcement, Mr Hamilton insisted “patients should have access to the drugs they need”.