ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, The Assistance Fund, an independent charitable patient assistance foundation that helps patients and families facing high medical out-of-pocket costs, announced the launch of a new program for individuals with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1). The program helps provide eligible patients with the financial resources they need to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs incurred as a result of their condition.
Alpha-1 is a genetic disorder thought to be caused by a mutation in a gene that tells the body to make a protein called Alpha-1 antitrypsin protein or AAT. AAT is produced by the liver and helps protect the lungs from inflammation.1 When AAT is functioning abnormally it cannot be released from the liver to reach the lungs, which creates a buildup. This can result in liver disease or lung disease, including emphysema, severe scarring (cirrhosis of the liver) or even liver cancer.1,2
“The launch of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Financial Assistance Program is an important milestone for patients living with this condition,” said Mark P. McGreevy, President and CEO, The Assistance Fund. “We are proud to be able to help alleviate some of the financial burdens for these patients. Alpha-1 is a rare disease, but for those who have it the impact on their lives financially, physically and mentally can be significant.”
Alpha-1 affects approximately 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 5,000 individuals but it is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed because the initial symptoms may mimic other conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).1 There is no cure for Alpha-1, but once officially diagnosed by a blood test, there are a number of treatment courses patients can take.3
“The Alpha-1 Foundation applauds The Assistance Fund for opening their Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Financial Assistance Program,” said Henry Moehring, President and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation. “The financial burden surrounding access to therapy and care in our community and in the rare disorder community at large is a barrier we must all continue to focus on. We look forward to the impact TAF’s programs will have in reducing that burden for Alpha-1 patients and their families.”
To learn more or determine eligibility for financial support from The Assistance Fund, individuals should visit tafcares.org or call 855-275-9030 to speak with a patient advocate.
A list of all the programs available at The Assistance Fund can be found on the website tafcares.org.
About The Assistance Fund
The Assistance Fund is an independent charitable patient assistance foundation that helps patients and families facing high medical out-of-pocket costs by providing financial assistance for their copayments, coinsurance, deductibles and other health-related expenses. The Assistance Fund currently manages more than 40 funds – each of which covers the FDA-approved medications that treat a specific disease. Since its founding in 2009, The Assistance Fund has helped more than 73,000 adults and children access the medicines they need to stay healthy or manage a chronic condition. To learn more about The Assistance Fund, or for information on how to donate, please visit tafcares.org.
1. “Review of α1-Antitrypsin Deficiency.” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2011. Retrieved from https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.201108-1428CI.
2. “Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.” Genetics Home Reference. 2018. Retrieved from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/alpha-1-antitrypsin-deficiency.
3. “Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Retrieved from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/alpha-1-antitrypsin-deficiency.