IDF Applauds Legislation to Improve Patient Access to Life Saving IVIG Treatment

 

IDF Applauds Legislation to Improve Patient Access to

Life Saving IVIG Treatment

{WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2008} – The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) applauds Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) for introducing S. 2990, “The Medicare IVIG Access Act.” The bill seeks adequate reimbursement for Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy and accompanying care in the management of patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD) and other serious conditions that require IVIG therapy.

“For our patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases who need antibody replacement, IVIG is their only treatment option,” said Marcia Boyle, IDF President and Founder. “Senators Kerry, Alexander and Stabenow have stepped forward to ensure that individuals whose lives depend on access to IVIG will not be put at risk.”

Presently, Medicare beneficiaries who require IVIG are experiencing serious access problems – an unintended result of the way Medicare determines the payment for IVIG. Many doctors and hospitals cannot purchase the products at Medicare reimbursed rates, and as a result, some patients are not getting this life saving treatment.

“The Medicare IVIG Access Act” would fix these current problems by ensuring adequate reimbursement for IVIG. It also allows for home treatments for Medicare beneficiaries with PIDD by covering related items and services excluded from the current home infusion benefit. These changes will allow these patients to lead healthy and productive lives.

Multiple patient, professional and industry organizations have joined IDF in support of this legislation.

About Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases

Primary immunodeficiency diseases are a group of over 150 rare disorders in which part of the body’s immune system is missing or does not function properly. In contrast to secondary immune deficiency disease in which the immune system is compromised by factors outside the immune system, PIDD are caused by intrinsic or genetic defects in the immune system. Approximately 250,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with PIDD and between 35,000 and 50,000 of them depend on IVIG as their life-saving treatment. Untreated primary immunodeficiencies may be characterized by frequent life-threatening infections and debilitating illnesses.

About The Immune Deficiency Foundation

The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), founded in 1980, is the national non-profit patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases through advocacy, education and research.

To learn more about IDF visit http://www.primaryimmune.org

 

 

 

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