Bradshaw welcomes equity of access to treatment for PKU patients in Northern Ireland

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has welcomed the Department of Health’s decision to use its current powers to enable the use of Kuvan (also known as Sapropterin) for the treatment of hyperphenylalaninaemia in phenylketonuria (PKU) in Northern Ireland, by patients over 21 years.

Health Paula Bradshaw

The move would bring NI into line alongside what’s already in place in England and Wales.

The South Belfast MLA stated: “People with rare conditions in Northern Ireland often report to us, including through the All-Party Group on Rare Diseases at Stormont on which I sit, that they feel left behind when treatments are made available elsewhere but not in Northern Ireland. Therefore, for those who are eligible in this case and their families, this will be a welcome relief.

“I know the campaign has been ongoing for some years. Among the last questions I put to the outgoing Health Minister in October 2022 were two on exactly this subject, given the comparatively high prevalence of PKU in Northern Ireland.

“Endorsement is a vital step forward but of course we now need assurance that specific and immediate provision will indeed be the consequence.

“While I welcome this significant step, it goes without saying that this overall process would be much more efficient if MLAs were back doing their jobs and scrutinising the work of a proactive Health Minister in a functioning Assembly.”