KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CSL Behring announced today the launch of a financial assistance program designed to cover patients' out-of-pocket expenses for Berinert®, C1 Esterase Inhibitor (Human), a pasteurized, nanofiltered therapy indicated for the treatment of acute laryngeal, facial and abdominal attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE). HAE is a rare and potentially fatal genetic disorder. Berinert Co-Pay BENefit is the most recent addition to the Berinert Expert Network (B.E.N.®), a full-service support program for healthcare providers and HAE patients and their caregivers. Berinert is available through specialty pharmacies and distributors in the United States.
Berinert Co-Pay BENefit assists with co-pay costs related to a patient's prescription for Berinert. On behalf of program participants, CSL Behring will coordinate with the patient's specialty pharmacy to cover the patient's out-of-pocket co-pay costs up to $12,000 in eligible expenses per year. The program is available to new or existing Berinert patients, age 12 or older, who are U.S. residents insured in the U.S. and who receive product through a specialty pharmacy. Patients covered by state or federally funded programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Health Insurance, are not eligible.
"Berinert Co-Pay BENefit is the most recent example of CSL Behring's commitment to provide HAE patients and healthcare providers with quality products and comprehensive service and support programs," said Lynne Powell, Sr. VP of North American Commercial Operations. "For many hereditary angioedema patients, enrollment in this program will increase their access to Berinert and result in no out-of-pocket expenses related to treatment."
In addition to Berinert Co-Pay BENefit, CSL Behring through B.E.N. provides information and assistance designed to help healthcare providers and HAE patients, including:
- Comprehensive service and support on insurance and reimbursement – B.E.N. will help patients address such issues and questions as prior authorizations, coverage appeals, and letters of medical necessity
- Patient Advocates for Learning and Support (PALS) – Through a peer-to-peer type program, HAE patient advocates share their experiences with new Berinert patients to help ease their transition onto therapy
- Assurance and Assistance – The CSL Behring Assurance and Assistance Programs, working through B.E.N., ensure that:
- Patients who experience a lapse in third-party, private health insurance can access Berinert
- Qualified patients who are uninsured, underinsured or unable to afford their prescribed therapy can obtain Berinert
"As a person with HAE, I understand first-hand the difficulties patients experience dealing with confusing insurance reimbursement issues," said Janet Long, HAE patient and executive vice president of the Hereditary Angioedema Association. "As an organization, we are extremely grateful for programs that help ease the financial burden faced by HAE patients."
To enroll in the Berinert Co-Pay BENefit program, or for more information on B.E.N. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call toll-free 1-877-BEN-4HAE (1-877-236-4423) or visit www.Berinert.com.
About Hereditary Angioedema
HAE is a rare genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of C1-INH. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Symptoms of HAE include episodes of edema – or swelling – in the face, abdomen, larynx and extremities. Patients who have abdominal attacks of HAE can experience episodes of extreme pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting caused by swelling of the intestinal wall. HAE attacks that involve the face or throat can result in airway closure, asphyxiation and, if untreated, death. Diagnosis of HAE requires a blood test to confirm low or abnormal levels of C1-INH.
Berinert®, C1 Esterase Inhibitor (Human), a pasteurized, nanofiltered, plasma-derived intravenous therapy, treats acute facial, abdominal and laryngeal hereditary angioedema (HAE) symptoms by providing C1-INH-deficient adult and adolescent patients with the missing human protein. Without C1-INH, people with HAE suffer from recurrent episodes of rapid swelling of areas of the skin and underlying tissues including the face, mouth, throat and abdomen. CSL Behring has marketed its pasteurized and nanofiltered C1 esterase inhibitor concentrate, Berinert, in Germany for more than 30 years. The product is also approved and marketed in 23 other European countries, the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Argentina, Japan and South Korea.
The safety and efficacy of Berinert for prophylactic therapy have not been established. Berinert is contraindicated in individuals with a history of life-threatening systemic reactions to C1 esterase inhibitor preparations, including anaphylaxis. The most serious adverse reaction reported in subjects who received Berinert in clinical studies was an increase in the severity of pain associated with HAE. In placebo-controlled clinical trial, dysgeusia was the most common adverse reaction reported in over 4 percent of subjects who received Berinert and more frequently than in the placebo group. Thrombotic events have been reported in patients receiving C1 esterase inhibitor product, including Berinert, at the recommended dose as well as when used off-label or at higher-than-labeled doses.
Berinert is derived from human plasma. The risk of transmission of infectious agents, including viruses and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent, cannot be completely eliminated. Please see full prescribing information for Berinert.
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a leader in the plasma protein therapeutics industry. Committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people with rare and serious diseases, the company manufactures and markets a range of plasma-derived and recombinant therapies worldwide.
CSL Behring therapies are used around the world to treat coagulation disorders including hemophilia and von Willebrand disease, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema and inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders in certain markets. The company's products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic diseases in the newborn. For more information visit http://www.cslbehring.com/. CSL Behring operates one of the world's largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma.
Sheila A. Burke
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Worldwide Commercial Operations
SOURCE CSL Behring