TAF Opens Aid Program to Help With Medical Costs of CAD in US

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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To help patients and families in the U.S. facing out-of-pocket medical costs, The Assistance Fund (TAF) has opened a new program for people living with cold agglutinin disease (CAD).

This program is designed to provide financial assistance to eligible individuals with medical expenses for FDA-approved treatments, including treatment-related copayments, health insurance premiums, and incidental medical expenses.

“Removing financial worry is critical for improving the quality of life for people diagnosed with cold agglutinin disease,” Mark P. McGreevy, TAF’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Thanks to the strong commitment of our donors, our Cold Agglutinin Disease Financial Assistance Program is now open, ensuring more patients can get the care they need.”

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CAD is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of self-targeting antibodies that wrongly bind and destroy red blood cells at cold temperatures. As a result, patients develop anemia and symptoms that can include fatigue, joint pain, and Raynaud’s syndrome — a condition that causes blood vessels to constrict.

Healthcare costs for families and patients with a rare disease are markedly higher than for those with more common disorders, as reported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) retrospective study. Its findings suggest that medical costs for rare disease patients can be three to five times higher than for those without rare conditions.

While CAD patients with mild disease may not require medical treatment, those with more severe cases are often prescribed rituximab, which primes antibody-producing immune B-cells for destruction. Rituximab may be used on its own to treat CAD, or in combination with therapies like fludarabine.

A first therapy specifically for adults with CAD, Sanofi’s Enjaymo (sutimlimab-jome), was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Enjaymo works to reduce the need for blood transfusions due to red blood cell loss in these patients.

More information on eligibility or the organization’s financial programs can be obtained by visiting TAF’s website, or by calling 833-519-0408 to speak with a patient advocate.

More than 70 diseases are currently covered by TAF. Since its establishment in 2009, the charity has helped more than 160,000 children and adults access the FDA-approved medicines they need to remain healthy or to manage a chronic or rare condition.