Ethical issues in managing lysosomal storage disorders in children in low and middle income countries

Bushra Afroze, Nick Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The lysosomal storage diseases are a group of rare, inherited metabolic diseases affecting about 1 in 7000 to 8000 people. In recent years, the introduction of enzyme replacement therapy, substrate reduction therapy and small molecule therapy, has changed the natural course of this otherwise progressive group of disorders leading to severe morbidity and early mortality. These treatment options, however, are extremely expensive and are needed for life thus presenting an economical as well as ethical challenge to the affected families and the health care system of a country. This paper presents a case for the prevention of the lysosomal storage disorders as a model for other inherited metabolic disorders in the form of antenatal testing and cascade screening for couples and families at risk of having affected off-springs and compares it to the cost incurred on the enzyme replacement therapy in the backdrop of the health care priorities of Pakistan, a low middle income country. Similar economic and ethical challenges are faced by most low and middle income countries. The literature search was done using Pubmed and Clinical trials databases using key words: “Lysosomal storage disorders”, “natural course”, “ethics”, “cascade screening”, “Thalassemia” and “cascade screening”. A total of 225 articles in English language were scanned from 1980-2016, 80 articles describing the natural course of LSD with and without ERT, ethical issues related to the treatment of LSD and strategies employed for the prevention of genetic disorders were prioritized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1041
Number of pages6
JournalPakistan Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Antenatal screening
  • Cascade screening
  • Ethics
  • Low and middle income countries
  • Lysosomal storage disorders
  • Treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethical issues in managing lysosomal storage disorders in children in low and middle income countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this