(BPT) - Hemophilia is a rare type of bleeding disorder that causes the blood to take a long time to clot as a result of a deficiency in one of several blood clotting factors.1 People with hemophilia B have a deficiency in clotting factor IX, a specific protein in the blood.1 According to the World Federation of Hemophilia, approximately one in 50,000 people globally are born with hemophilia B, including approximately 4,110 people in the United States.2,3
While there is no cure for hemophilia, several treatment options are available. Hemophilia is treated by replacing the missing clotting factor in the blood with treatment delivered by infusing clotting factor product into the bloodstream using a needle.4 Factor replacement products can be derived from plasma or manufactured using genetically-engineered cells that carry a human factor gene (known as recombinant products).4 Among the treatment options available to patients with hemophilia B is BeneFIX Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant). The first recombinant coagulation factor IX product, BeneFIX is indicated for the control, prevention and perioperative management of bleeding episodes in adult and pediatric patients with hemophilia B. BeneFIX is NOT used to treat hemophilia A.
As the end of the year approaches, many employers begin offering an open enrollment period for employee health insurance. For adults with hemophilia B, this is an ideal time to put their health insurance paperwork in order and assess insurance coverage of their hemophilia treatment. The same is true for students and other young adults with hemophilia B who are entering college and/or taking responsibility for their own healthcare insurance from their parents.
Pfizer, which manufactures BeneFIX, is dedicated to the hemophilia community and offers a number of programs and services to help eligible hemophilia B patients with financial assistance and/or reimbursement. These programs include:
- Pfizer Factor Savings Card: This program provides financial support to eligible patients to help cover out-of-pocket co-pay, deductible, and co-insurance associated with their Pfizer factor costs. Hemophilia B patients may be eligible to save up to $500 annually on co-pay, deductible and co-insurance costs. The Card is available only at participating pharmacies. This Card is not health insurance. If you have any questions about the use of the Pfizer Factor Savings Card, please call 1-888-240-9040 or send questions to: Pfizer Factor Savings Program, 6501 Weston Parkway, Suite 370, Cary, NC 27513. For more information on the Pfizer Factor Savings Card, please visit www.hemophiliavillage.com.
- Pfizer Trial Prescription Program: This program allows eligible patients new to Pfizer factor products to receive a one-time, one-month supply up to 20,000 IU at no cost. This program is for commercially insured individuals only. Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries are not eligible.
- Pfizer RSVP (Reimbursement Solutions, Verification, and Payment HELPline): Pfizer RSVP is a reimbursement services and patient assistance program designed to help eligible patients gain access to Pfizer factor products. For patients with insurance, RSVP offers reimbursement support services and appeals process information, and it can help patients check their eligibility for various alternate funding sources. For patients who don’t have enough insurance or are uninsured, RSVP can help by offering eligible patients the opportunity to get their Pfizer medicines for free, or in some cases, receive co-payment assistance to help pay for their prescriptions.
Stacy M., a 38-year-old human resources program manager, has a son, Will, living with hemophilia B. When Stacy’s family was uninsured several years ago, she took advantage of one of Pfizer’s financial assistance programs.
“During the time that we didn’t have health insurance, I was extremely worried about how we would afford treatment for Will,” explained Stacy. “Fortunately, I learned about Pfizer’s financial programs and through a simple process, we confirmed our eligibility, enrolled and were able to get BeneFIX for Will at no cost. I am so grateful for this assistance because it allowed Will to continue to get treatment without interruption or consequences to his health.”
Hemophilia B patients and their caregivers should talk to their healthcare provider to see if BeneFIX is right for them. For more information about BeneFIX and to learn more about hemophilia B, please visit www.BeneFIX.com. For more information on any of Pfizer’s financial assistance and/or reimbursement programs for patients with hemophilia B, please visit www.hemophiliavillage.com.
BeneFIX is an injectable medicine that is used to help control and prevent bleeding in people with hemophilia B. Hemophilia B is also called congenital factor IX deficiency or Christmas disease.
BeneFIX is NOT used to treat hemophilia A.
Important Safety Information for BeneFIX
- BeneFIX is contraindicated in patients who have manifested life-threatening, immediate hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, to the product or its components, including hamster protein.
- Call your health care provider right away if your bleeding • is not controlled after using BeneFIX.
- Allergic reactions may occur with BeneFIX. Call your health care provider or get emergency treatment right away if you have any of the following symptoms: wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, your lips and gums turning blue, fast heartbeat, facial swelling, faintness, rash or hives.
- Your body can make antibodies, called “inhibitors,” which may interfere with the effectiveness of BeneFIX.
- If you have risk factors for developing blood clots, such as a venous catheter through which BeneFIX is given by continuous infusion, BeneFIX may increase the risk of abnormal blood clots. The safety and efficacy of BeneFIX administration by continuous infusion have not been established.
- Some common side effects of BeneFIX are nausea, injection site reaction, injection site pain, headache, dizziness and rash.
Please see full Prescribing Information for BeneFIX.
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1 National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. “What is Hemophilia.” Accessed 1 July 2013. Available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hemophilia/
2 World Federation of Hemophilia. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Accessed 1 July 2013. Available at http://www.wfh.or/en/page.aspx?pid=637#How_common
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Summary Report of UDC Activity, National Patient Demographics (Hemophilia).” Accessed 1 July 2013. Available at https://www2a.cdc.gov/ncbddd/htcweb/UDC_Report/UDC_Report.asp
4 World Federation of Hemophilia. “Treatment” Accessed 1 July 2013. Available at http://www.wfh.org/index.asp?lang=EN (WFH Home Page > About Bleeding Disorders > Hemophilia > Treatment)