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Opening Access to Innovative Therapies – A message from Patrick McKercher, PAN President


Our mission is our mantra: help underinsured patients access lifesaving medications. Personally, it is a good feeling to participate in the launch of a new disease fund or the rekindling of older ones because it is always a "good news" story. This year alone, we've already announced eight new funds.

Each launch and fund update invariably signals new or multiple innovations addressing especially cruel diseases. PAN funds open access to not just one but all of the progressive therapies for a specific disease.

I believe that the true value of charitable co-pay foundations is understated. PAN provides access to needed therapies by giving the underinsured population equitable access to progressive state-of-the-art therapies that is most important.

Often, yesterday’s innovation is sufficient for current therapy and some economies can justifiably be achieved using them.

But is "sufficient" enough? We at PAN don't believe so. We believe that no segment of the population, especially the underinsured, should be left out. Why should underinsured patients be left standing on the sidelines, when they, too, can realize the benefits of long-anticipated therapeutic wonders?

We all know the stories. Ongoing, expensive treatments can cripple most household budgets. With our grants, patients, who earn up to 500% of the Federal Poverty Level -- or $58,840 for a family of two -- are eligible for assistance. Qualified patients receive between $500-$10,000 annually, depending on the individual disease fund, to cover copayments, coinsurances and deductibles.

Our best hope for conquering diseases lies in the research being conducted in medical and scientific institutions and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Our purpose is to make certain that underinsured patients have the same access to innovative therapies as those who have generous insurance policies. Offering equitable access is very satisfying work for any donor.