Allow people with MND to access breakthrough drug under compassionate use rules

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Motor Neurone Disease is a cruel, fatal and rapidly progressive neurological disease. Neurones, or nerve cells, that control the muscles enabling us to move, breathe, speak and swallow degenerate and die, causing muscles to weaken and waste. Average life expectancy is just two and a half years. More than 2000 Australians are currently living with this terrible disease. Every day, two Australians die from it and two more get the devastating news that they have MND.

There has been no cure or effective treatment, until now. An Australian trial on people with MND in Melbourne and Sydney has found that CuATSM slowed the progression of MND by an amazing 70 per cent! But Collaborative Medicinal Developments now plans to do a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. People with MND do not have time to wait for years of a slow-progressing trial. CuATSM was first identified as a potential treatment for MND in 2005 and still sufferers are unable to access it. 

CuATSM is already approved for use in humans. In the USA, it is approved and used as a contrast dye in PET scans. In Australia, typically other contrast dyes are used but CuATSM can be used with approval by the TGA.

The remarkable efficacy of CuATSM, or copper-ATSM, is thought to be based on the theory that a decrease of copper in the brain may be a factor in the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.

CuATSM delivers copper only to damaged cells, so the idea is to use it to target only unhealthy cells and reduce the damage caused by the disease.

People with MND want to have the choice to use CuATSM now, before this hideous diseases robs them of their abilities and life. We call on the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Collaborative Medicinal Development to allow CuATSM to be used by people with MND for compassionate use, at their own expense if need be.

This drug could change the world. It is cruel and unfair to prevent people with MND from accessing it, or make them wait months or years to be able to use it. Now that a highly effective treatment has been found and proven to work, we call on those in the pharmaceutical industry and government to save lives by allowing people with MND access to CuATSM.