FDA approves new drug to treat sickle cell disease

The FDA just approved a new drug to treat sickle cell disease. It's an announcement that people with the disease have been waiting decades for.

"The fact that this drug can reduce pain and reduce the frequency of pain then it's going to be huge," Dr. Robin E. Miller said.

It took 20 years but Hematologist Robin E. Miller, director of Nemours Hospital for Children's Sickle Cell Program, says it looks much more promising for her patients than just some other drug.

"The fact that the initial study included children is very, very exciting and it seems like the side effects are not going to be severe."

Hopefully, making it an option that more patients 5 years and older- might be able to tolerate. Patients like 17- year-old Amiya Melton who happens to be suffering the excruciating affects of sickle cell disease today.

"She gets pain, unable to walk at times, headache, loses a lot of blood volume, which will require her to stay hydrated and that's another hard thing for teenagers," her mom explained.

Amiya's mom and the teen are thrilled about this new drug but just how many patients will benefit is unknown as well as if the medicine lesser damaging effects of sickle cell on patient's organs over time.