After Kerala CM, TN CM Requests Centre To Remove Taxes SMA Drugs Import

BP World Bureau | Jul 14 2021 03:49:04 PM
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin urged the Centre to exempt customs duty, integrated GST and any other taxes on import of life-saving drugs for the treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

In a letter to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Stalin said that the treatment of SMA costs over over Rs 16 crore per person.

SMA is a genetic disease affecting the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and voluntary muscle movement. People with this disease lose nerve cells in the spinal cord, called motor neurons, that control muscle movement. 

Gene-therapy has to be ideally given before the child reaches two years of age and it is exorbitant in price, he said. 

BJP leader K Annamalai, in a letter to Sitharaman, said a 23-month old girl from Tamil Nadu was suffering from SMA.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his views regarding the import taxes on SMA drugs. 

He requested him to ask the finance ministry to not impose Customs duty and Integrated Goods and Services Tax on the life-saving medicine Zolgensma.

18-month-old Muhammed in Kerala has been diagnosed with SMA. 

Muhammed’s family were able to afford the medicine through an online crowdfunding initiative.