CAF Offers Support for US Thalassemia Patients Affected by Generic Desferal Shortage

February 23, 2018 – The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation has established an emergency fund to offer limited assistance to U.S. thalassemia patients who are experiencing financial hardships due to the current shortage of generic Desferal (deferoxamine mesylate).

Because of this shortage, many patients who have been using generic Desferal are having to use the brand name form of Desferal. In some cases, there is a substantial difference in the amount of money that the patient has paid for the generic drug and the amount they are being asked to pay for the brand name version. CAF is offering one-time assistance of up to $1,000 for patients who are in this situation. The amount of funding available is limited, so decisions for funding will be determined by the order in which patients submit a complete application. This funding applies only to patient forced to temporarily switch from generic Desferal to brand name Desferal; it does not apply to patients who are already brand name Desferal users.

To apply, U.S. thalassemia patients should send the following information to CAF Patient Services Manager Eileen Scott at

  1. Name of person applying for assistance (the name of the patient or, if the patient is under the age of 18, their parent or guardian)
  2. Name of the patient(s), if under 18
  3. Amount of assistance requested (up to $1,000)*
  4. Receipt documenting the amount that the person has been paying (out of pocket) for generic Desferal. The receipt may come from a home healthcare company. The receipt should clearly indicate the amount of money the patient is being directly charged specifically for generic Desferal (as opposed to a lump sum total that includes the cost of generic Desferal, supplies, etc.).
  5. Receipt documenting the cost (out-of-pocket) to the patient of the brand name Desferal. Again, the receipt should indicate the amount of money the patient is being directly charged specifically for brand name Desferal; reimbursement does not apply to supplies, etc.

* If the extra cost to the patient is less than $1,000 per month, the patient may request up to $1,000 and submit receipts on a monthly basis. CAF will reimburse as receipts are submitted, up to a total of $1,000 until funding runs out.

Please note: If a patient is not currently registered in CAF’s database, CAF will require proof of the patient’s status as a thalassemia patient, such as a letter from their hematologist or nurse.

The amount of funding which CAF is limited. We will provide funding until that amount has been exhausted. As stated before, we are only able to offer a maximum amount of assistance of $1,000.

Patients who are switching from generic Desferal to a chelator other than brand name Desferal should find the new chelator covered by their insurance or should be able to get assistance from the company’s Patient Assistance Program.

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