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National Health Service England announces deal for life changing Sickle Cell treatment


Crizanlizumab is the first new therapy for 20 years for serious and lifelong health condition. Thousands of patients in England are to benefit from the first treatment for sickle cell disease in two decades, the National Health Service England has announced.

Crizanlizumab, a “revolutionary” life-changing drug treatment, will be delivered by a transfusion drip and works by binding to a protein in the blood cells to prevent the restriction of blood and oxygen supply that lead to a sickle cell crisis.

The therapy, the first to become available for the disease in 20 years, will help at least 5,000 people over the next three years, officials said.

“This is a historic moment for people with sickle cell disease who will be given their first new treatment in over two decades,” said Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England. “This revolutionary treatment will help to save lives, allow patients to have a better quality of life and reduce trips to A&E by almost half.”

People aged over 16 who suffer from multiple sickle cell crises every year will be eligible for the treatment. The disease is characterised by the production of unusually shaped red blood cells, which can cause serious health issues across the body, sending organs into crisis and causing extreme pain.

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