17 February 2022
"We need to do better for people like Jamie. We need the TGA to have a streamlined process for Australians to access new and life-saving medicines."
Address to the House of Representatives, Constituency Statements
Thursday 17 February 2022
I also want to speak about a young constituent of mine who is facing a great battle.
Jamie Larsen wrote to me late last year to tell me about his story. Jamie, who is only 17, is suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscular degenerative disease. At present there is no cure.
This insidious disease targets young men and boys, and Jamie was diagnosed when he was three years old. Jamie wrote to tell me that, thanks to medical breakthroughs, there are an increasing number of medicines nearing the end of their trials in the United States that look likely to receive FDA approval. But, without a streamlined approval process from the TGA, it might be years until DMD sufferers in this country get access to the medicines.
Last year, the standing committee on health investigated this challenge. The member for Macarthur and you, Mr Deputy Speaker Zimmerman, both great advocates, have supported some changes in this space. As my friend Dr Freelander said:
"We are at an inflection point in healthcare in Australia at the present time, because of the rapidly increasing treatments becoming available for conditions previously considered untreatable."
We need to do better for people like Jamie. We need the TGA to have a streamlined process for Australians to access new and life-saving medicines.