Thal Pals Comic #14

May 25, 2009 – Helena and Kevin discuss some challenges.

Thal pals #14

Next episode will be posted on 6/08/09.

Funding for Thal Pals comes from an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Story – Craig Butler. Art- John Thornton. Copyright 2009 by Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.

Stay One Step Ahead of Your Care!

Often we get called upon to help patients who have transitioned from one insurance company to another and have experienced a delay in obtaining their medications. A similar problem may also occur when a patient is first applying for help through the Healthwell Foundation or Novartis Patient Assistance Program, or when entering the annual re-application process for these programs.

To help avoid this dilemma, we are providing some tips:

Don’t wait till the last moment. Give yourself AT LEAST one month of lead time when making any changes to prevent any delays in receiving Desferal or Exjade delivery. Remember, some insurance policies and patient programs do not have a fast-track approval process for medication coverage. Most companies do not provide a temporary supply of medication if there is a delay in the approval process.

Watch the calendar. Yearly assistance programs, such as those provided by Healthwell or the Novartis Patient Assistance Program, do not remind patients when their yearly grant is over. Therefore, patients have to keep track of when their grant will be over and re-apply for a continuation of assistance. (If you are unsure of when it expires, call the company and ask.) Again, get your renewal application in at least one month ahead to try to avoid any delays in medication delivery.

Get the 411 on new policies.If you are going to be changing to a new insurance policy, it is essential to see if it will cover the cost of Desferal or Exjade. This can be done simply by calling the insurance company’s customer service line or checking its website to see if the drugs are listed in its formulary. (Be aware that many insurance companies have different categories, called “tiers,” for drugs and medicines; usually, the amount of coverage for a drug is dependent on its tier. Your carrier can provide more information on its tier policy.)

Taking these precautionary steps ahead of time may prevent any delays, as well the stress and the anxiety of not knowing whether or not you will be able to continue to receive medication in a timely manner.

Please note that CAF is unable to provide medication or financial assistance for the cost of medication; however, if you are having any difficulties with medication, please contact the Patient Services Department at 800-522-7222 so that we can help you navigate options.

Questions? Problems?

Contact CAF Patient Services.

Eileen Scott, Patient Services Manager, 800-522-7222 or

Kathleen Durst, CAF Social Worker, 800-522-7222 or


For episode 13, click here.

For episode 12, click here.

For episode 11, click here.

For episode 10, click here.

For episode 9, click here.

For episode 8, click here.

For episode 7, click here.

For episode 6, click here.

For episode 5, click here.

For epsiode 4, click here.

For episode 3, click here.

For episode 2, click here.

For episode 1, click here.

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