The Assistance Fund has announced the opening of a new service, called the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Financial Assistance Program, to help to people living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) meet their medical expenses.
The Assistance Fund is an independent charitable patient assistance foundation that helps patients and families with such expenses as co-payments and deductibles, health insurance premiums, incidental travel-related medical costs, and care costs, such as infusions.
“Until now, patients and families living with Duchenne in the U.S. have not had a single approved treatment option. As new treatments become available, we must see to it that all patients are able to secure the medicines they need,” Pat Furlong, founding president and chief executive officer of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, said in a press release. “The Assistance Fund’s new fund for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is part of an important safety net for patients and families who might otherwise have trouble accessing their medicines due to resource barriers.”
Exondys 51 (eteplirsen) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September to treat DMD patients with a confirmed mutation in the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping. It was the first approved treatment, and is thought applicable to about 13 percent of all DMD patients.
“We are pleased to be able to provide financial assistance to people living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a serious and rare disease with limited treatment options,” said Mark P. McGreevy, president of the Assistance Fund. “Now that there is an approved therapy available to patients in the U.S., we hope that our new Duchenne fund will go a long way in helping these patients access the therapies they need.”
Each of the fund’s programs require that applicants show proof of their medical condition, prescription needs, and meet financial requirements based on household size and income.
Since its establishment in 2009, the Fund has helped over 43,000 people across over 30 disease-specific funds, each of which covers all FDA-approved medications for that specific disease.