Good Days Releases Open Letter to the Federal Government: Protect Life-Saving Charitable Patient Assistance

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Federal Government Endangers Charitable Patient Assistance Programs, Putting Hundreds of Thousands of Medicare Beneficiaries at Risk

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“The voices of those individuals who have been affected by patient assistance are needed to remind key officials in the federal government of the vital need for these charities,” said Clorinda Walley, president of Good Days.

Good Days, a national, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that makes life-saving and life-extending treatments affordable, invites the public to co-sign an open letter urging the federal government to protect patient assistance on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Medicare patients who lack access to medication they desperately need but cannot afford.

There is currently no policy to fix the holes in government-sponsored health insurance plans that patient assistance charities were established to address. But now government officials are endangering these programs, and, most importantly, the chronically ill patients who are unable to afford their life-sustaining medical treatment.

Growing public criticism on the rising costs of drugs is being directly associated with patient assistance charities. This has had a significant impact on the ability of these charities to raise funds, thereby threatening patients and families in need. Patient assistance programs such as those provided by Good Days are the only available financial resource to economically vulnerable Medicare patients who face debilitating, life-altering and oftentimes life-threatening diseases.

“The voices of those individuals who have been affected by patient assistance are needed to remind key officials in the federal government of the vital need for these charities,” said Clorinda Walley, president of Good Days. “We are a safety net for patients who otherwise have nowhere to turn. We strive to fill that role as transparently as we can, until the day a better solution is in place.”

Pharmaceutical companies once assisted Medicare beneficiaries through their own patient assistance programs because Medicare did not broadly cover outpatient prescription drugs. The passage of Medicare Part D in 2003 established coverage for pharmaceutical costs and allowed for non-profit patient-advocacy groups to establish co-pay funds that could be funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Since many of the prescriptions to treat chronic conditions like cancer are expensive specialty medications with no generic equivalent, charitable patient assistance programs became the sole vehicle through which needy Medicare beneficiaries could receive co-pay assistance.

Good Days programs operate at no cost to the tax-payer by government design. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance to these charities so that they can operate according to best practices. This has led to the establishment of safeguards to prevent outside influence on patient and provider choices of treatments. Importantly, before a person receives charitable assistance, they have already met with a physician, been given a diagnosis, and prescribed a therapy plan. It is only after this point that a patient can seek to obtain charitable assistance.

The federal government should continue to work with these charities and protect patient assistance. Visit https://www.change.org/p/protect-life-saving-charitable-patient-assistance to sign an open letter that urges the federal government to protect vulnerable patients.

Good Days is a national, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that makes life-saving and life-extending treatments affordable. Since 2003, Good Days has provided more than 800,000 grants and helped more than 500,000 people with access to healthcare resources.

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Justin Wilson

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