American Kidney Fund, Genzyme Announce New Medicare Part D Assistance Program for Renagel
July 31, 2006, The American Kidney Fund and Genzyme Corp. announced today that they have launched a new program to provide Renagel® (sevelamer hydrochloride) free of charge to patients who are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan, but cannot afford their co-payments or co-insurance payments for Renagel.
The Medicare Part D Assistance Program will help those facing high payments in and out of the Medicare coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole.” To be eligible, patients must be enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, have no alternative insurance, meet pre-specified income criteria, and have spent a pre-specified percentage of their income on prescription drugs. Patients who qualify will receive Renagel through the end of 2006 at no cost.
“Genzyme is delighted to expand our partnership with the American Kidney Fund to ensure that Renagel is accessible to all patients who need it,” said John P. Butler, president and general manager, Genzyme Renal. “High Medicare co-payments can pose a serious obstacle for many patients, and we are committed to helping Medicare patients access Renagel.”
The Medicare Part D Assistance Program for Renagel is administered by the American Kidney Fund as part of its continued efforts to improve the care of kidney disease patients. Genzyme’s partnership with AKF dates back to 2001, when the two organizations launched the Renagel Patient Assistance ProgramSM (RPAP), which provides access to Renagel and Hectorol® (doxercalciferol) for those not otherwise able to access these products.
Healthcare providers can contact Genzyme’s Renassist case managers to qualify their Medicare patients for the program by calling 800-847-0069.
About Renagel® (sevelamer hydrochloride)
Renagel controls serum phosphorus in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease on hemodialysis. The National Kidney Foundation’s 2003 K/DOQI guidelines for Bone Metabolism and Disease in Chronic Kidney Disease recommend sevelamer hydrochloride as a first-line treatment option to reduce phosphorus. Renagel is the only phosphate binder available that does not contain either calcium or a metal. It has an established safety profile, is not systemically absorbed and provides phosphorus control without the concerns of calcium or metal accumulation. Renagel has been used by more than 600,000 people in the United States since it was introduced in 1998.
Renagel® is indicated for the control of serum phosphorus in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) on hemodialysis. Renagel® is contraindicated in patients with hypophosphatemia or bowel obstruction. In a 52 week study, the most common side effects were not dose-related and included vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and dyspepsia. In drug interaction studies, Renagel® had no effect on the bioavailability of digoxin, warfarin, enalapril, metoprolol or iron. When administering any other oral drug for which alteration in blood levels could have a clinically significant effect, the drug should be administered at least 1 hour before or 3 hours after Renagel®, or the physician should consider monitoring blood levels of the drug.
For more information about Renagel, including complete prescribing information, please visit www.renagel.com.
One of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Genzyme’s founding. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 8,000 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2005 revenues of $2.7 billion. Genzyme has been selected by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for” in the United States.
With many established products and services helping patients in more than 80 countries, Genzyme is a leader in the effort to develop and apply the most advanced technologies in the life sciences. The company’s products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune diseases, and diagnostic testing. Genzyme’s commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields, as well as heart disease and other areas of unmet medical need.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund is our nation’s leading voluntary health organization serving people with and at risk for kidney disease through direct financial assistance, comprehensive education, clinical research and community service programs. In 2004, the Fund served more than 55,000 low-income kidney patients, distributing more than 100,000 grants totaling $57 million. For more information, please visit the Fund website: www.kidneyfund.org, or call (800) 638-8299.
Genzyme® and Renagel® are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. Renagel Patient Assistance ProgramSM and Renagel REACH ProgramSM are service marks of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.
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