This is a paid public announcement from Pfizer and does not constitute an endorsement of products or services. When you click on the links in this blog entry, you will be directed to a Pfizer website. LA Kelley Communications always advises you to be a savvy consumer when contacting any company; do not reveal identifying information against your will.
These scholarships are intended for U.S. applicants with hemophilia A or hemophilia B who present the best combination of a creative and persuasive essay, excellent recommendations and superior academic standing. Sign up now to be eligible for the Soozie Courter Scholarship. All applications must be received by no later than May 24, 2013. Scholarship winners will be announced in July 2013. For more information or to download an application, please visit: www.HemophiliaVillage.com.
Even while we wait for new products to come in the hemophilia pipeline, there are improvements being made all the time with our current products. Here are two changes you might need to know about.
From Bayer: Bayer’s Factor Solutions patient support now includes a Helpline to give hemophilia A patients and caregivers a personalized point of contact for getting information on insurance, patient assistance and government assistance programs. This is for Kogenate FS users, and offers: coverage, coding, reimbursement and claim issues, verifying patient insurance benefits, understanding healthcare reform insurance changes, assessing new insurance and alternate funding sources, understanding Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements, and determining eligibility for assistance programs.
Factor Solutions case specialists, including Spanish-speaking specialists, are specially trained and understand the unique needs of the hemophilia A community. Contact them at 1-800-288-8374 for more information.
From Pfizer: There is now a 3000 IU dose of BeneFIX available for hemophilia B patients. Pfizer Hemophilia is the first to offer this new dosage strength for hemophilia B patients. Higher doses may reduce the number of vials needed per infusion, save space at a patient’s home or on the go and, may have less waste for disposal. Learn more at www.benefix.com.
I’ll try to provide other product changes and improvements as they come in!
Great Book I Just Read
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (Kindle version)
This is one of my favorite books from childhood. What a joy to read this historical fiction classic again, and on my Kindle! It’s 1752, Scotland, and following his father’s death, young David Balfour heads out with a letter of introduction to meet his uncle Ebenezer at the House of Shaw, which he imagines to be a great estate. Hoping for wealth and a new beginning, he instead meets a miserly old man and crumbling mansion. David soon learns that there are many secrets at Shaws, and when he tries to find out the true owner of the estate, his uncle tricks him into town, and then lures him onto a ship, where he is kidnapped to be an indentured servant in America. Rounding the north of Scotland one night, the ship crashes into another: the crew picks up a mysterious man in French dress with a thick money belt, real-life historical figure Alan Breck Stewart, a Jacobite. David overhears the captain plotting to kill Alan, and tells Alan. Together David and Alan fight off the crew of the ship, which then crashes and sinks. David survives, and wanders for days alone in the Highlands, before finding help and eventually is reunited with Alan. When they are both framed for the real-life death of Colin Roy Campbell, they flee into the Highlands and endure great suffering and starvation as they try to reach Edinburgh, for Alan wants to help David get his inheritance back, and David wants to help Alan return safely to France. The book is crackling with adventure, with great dialogue and unforgettable characters. The story will tell you about the politics and history of Scotland in the 1700s. Interesting to read, due to the Scottish dialect and strange words–making the Kindle or iPad invaluable as you can easily click on each word’s meaning. The 1960 Disney movie is faithful to the book, staring Peter Finch as Alan Breck, and wonderfully done. Five/five stars.
Pfizer is the largest pharmaceutical company in the world and has a history of buying other pharmaceutical companies to add to its showcase of drugs. Over the last 10 years, Pfizer has acquired Warner Lambert, Pharmacia and other specialty pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It’s at it again, with the announcement that it has bought Wyeth for $68 billion. Among the many top drugs Wyeth produces are two recombinant factor products: BeneFIX and Xyntha.
According to www.biojobblog.com January 23, 2009, “Like many of its competitors, Pfizer believes that biotechnology is the ‘next big thing’ and its executives have publicly disclosed their intentions to get into ‘protein-based therapeutics.'” And Wyeth has the biotech products that apparently Pfizer wants.
What does this mean for hemophilia patients? Nothing right now. Wyeth wants to assure all customers and patients that it will continue to supply its products as usual. Anyone with questions about supply can contact their local HTC; your hematologist can get in touch with the local Wyeth rep. Or let me know and I can get through to Wyeth for you.
This new was a bit of a surprise to most of the community, but change is something that should not surprise you anymore in hemophilia. With the wave of insurance changes that have been happening for the past four years, change seems inevitable, and will continue. Stay tuned!
Book I Just Read
Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations by Josh Bartok
Well, I didn’t just read it; I read one page each day last year. One page a day, to learn some insightful bit of Buddhist wisdom to think on. Culled from many different sources, this book offers some very interesting comments about 50% of the time. I admit there were things I didn’t quite get, but then, I am not a Buddhist. I did find plenty to enjoy and ponder, and thought this might make a nice gift to someone. Two stars out of four.