On February 28, Workers’ Party MP for Hougang SMC, Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong, raised a parliamentary question to the Minister for Health, Ong Ye Kung, regarding the drug Vosoritide and its availability for children with achondroplasia.
Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that affects bone and cartilage growth, resulting in short stature and disproportionate growth. Vosoritide, also known as Voxzogo, is a drug that aims to increase linear growth in children with this condition.
Mr Tan asked whether the Ministry of Health (MOH) would consider working with the drug’s manufacturers to register it in Singapore or list it under the Medication Assistance Fund (MAF), which would make it more affordable and eligible for coverage under local medical insurance policies.
In response, Minister Ong explained that Vosoritide is not currently registered in Singapore, and no application has been submitted to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for assessment of its clinical and cost-effectiveness.
The MAF scheme, which was implemented in 2010, supports patients who require moderate- to high-cost treatments that have been assessed to be clinically and cost-effective.
Manufacturers who wish to supply medications in Singapore may submit an application and scientific data to the Health Science Authority (HSA) for evaluation of quality, safety, and efficacy, said Mr Ong.
Singaporean Family Seeks $1.4 Million in Crowdfunding for Son’s treatment with Vosoritide
A Singaporean family is reaching out to the public for help in raising over S$1.4 million dollars to pay for a growth-stimulating drug for their nine-month-old son, Jayden.
Jayden was born with a rare genetic condition called achondroplasia or dwarfism, which affects his bone growth.
Jayden’s mother, Amanda Tan, took to the crowdfunding platform GIVE.asia in July last year to share her son’s condition and appeal for donations.
While achondroplasia affects one in every 30,000 newborns globally, there is hope for treatment that can improve the quality of life for those with the condition.
A doctor at the National University Hospital suggested that a new medication called Vosoritide, approved by the FDA and European Medicine Agency, could stimulate bone growth.
However, as Vosoritide is not currently approved for subsidies in Singapore, this makes the treatment too expensive for Jayden’s family to afford.
The medication costs approximately S$40,000 to S$50,000 per month, and Jayden would need to undergo treatment until his growth plate closes at 18 years old. The total cost of treatment would amount to S$7,000,000.
Jayden’s family is currently raising funds to pay for the first three years of his medication and is appealing to the MOH to list Vosoritide under the approved subsidise list.
As of now, they have managed to raise S$463,941 through crowdfunding efforts.