When Cost Of Treatment Forces Heartbreaking Choices

Imagine yourself sitting in a doctor’s office and you are being told you have an ultra-rare bone marrow failure that is life threatening. The only cure for this illness, the doctor explains, is a bone marrow transplant. Then he adds this cure is not an option for you because the risks of the cure outweigh the benefits. He goes on to explain that great strides in the medical field have been made and there is now a treatment for this illness, and by taking this treatment one now can live decades as opposed to just the average of five years. The side effects are minimal for most patients.

Making Treatment Possible When The Cost Makes It (Seem) Impossible

The biggest drawback is that this drug is expensive. The drug must be infused every fourteen days and the drug alone costs over $40,000 each dose. You will need the treatment for the rest of your life, or until the risks of the cure become less than those of your illness.

How could anyone afford this treatment? The answer is through a charitable organization called Patient Services Incorporated. PSI is a non-profit organization that helps patients with rare and expensive illnesses like mine. PSI financially assists patients of these illnesses with some of the costs of treatments, insurance premiums, and other directly related costs of the disease. The money is provided by generous donors.

When Cost Of Treatment Forces Heartbreaking Choices

Before I knew of PSI’s existence, I had decided not to seek treatment for my illness simply because I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t want to subject my husband to bear this financial burden. But thanks to PSI I have been able to manage both my illness and the financial expenses of the treatments that I need for the last five years. It has been amazing to be around to watch my family grow. I am now a grandma to twelve grandchildren. I can’t thank PSI enough for what they have done for me, for people like me.

Let Charities Be Charitable

Right now, restrictions are being placed on communication between donors and potential donors with charities like PSI by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Because of these restrictions, funding has dropped and PSI is having to turn patients away, patients who desperately need assistance. Patients who will not be able to live without their expensive treatments.

Who Is PSI?

Patient Services Inc., is the first and “ground breaking” 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization of its kind.  Founded in 1989, the Midlothian, Virginia based company helps people who live with specific chronic illnesses or conditions locate suitable health insurance coverage and afford costly premiums and copayments.  PSI restores hope and health to those living with chronic illness. Recently, Avalere Health released a report which found that PSI’s charitable assistance reduces patient out-of-pocket costs for medication, improves medication adherence, and lowers total Medicare costs through reduced medical spending.

“Individuals living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions often face prohibitive costs to access the care they need to continue living healthy, productive lives. PSI charitable assistance is a critical lifeline – and often a last resort – that helps thousands of patients and their families effectively manage their conditions,” said PSI Chief Executive Officer Art Wood.

You can read the full report from Avalere here.

What Can You Do?

In sharing her story, Peggy is helping change people’s lives, because we believe that it also can change people’s minds. Here are 4 things you can do to help by sharing your story:

Together we can make a difference and send a strong and unified message to let charities be charitable. No one should ever be forced to make the same choice Peggy was faced with. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard. Because everyone’s life matters.