New model on the cost effectiveness of newborn screening for SMA in England

A new model has been developed to explore the cost effectiveness of screening for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in England. It has found that newborn screening can give babies with SMA a healthier future by enabling treatment before symptom onset in the vast majority of cases. This approach will generate savings of over £67million across the lifetime of all of the babies identified in one year.

The findings generated by the model were presented this week at ISPOR, the leading European conference for health economics and outcomes research.

The UK SMA Newborn Screening Alliance welcomes the development of this model and hopes that the UK National Screening Committee will ensure that it is reviewed and incorporated into the official newborn screening assessment process for SMA. This new evidence should help to ensure that a robust but rapid decision can be made about adding SMA to the national newborn screening programme in the UK.