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Early Diagnosis and Treatment the Focus of International Dialogue on Primary Immunodeficiency Disease
Date:4/20/2011

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Thought leaders from the medical, scientific and patient advocacy communities gathered in New York and London for CSL Behring's Key Issues Dialogue–Immunoglobulin to examine challenges facing patients with primary immunodeficiencies. They found common ground between the US and Europe on access-to-care issues such as early diagnosis and treatment of primary immunodeficiency disease (PID) and explored possible ways of improving patient care.

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The Think Zebra! campaign from the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) put the challenge of early diagnosis in perspective. "In medical school, physicians are taught that when you hear hoof beats, think horses," Marcia Boyle, Dialogue participant and president and co-founder of IDF said.  "In other words, think of the most usual cause of the most usual diagnosis. Immunologists are taught when they hear hoof beats to think zebras. Look for the unusual."

The participants examined barriers to accessing immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy, which is available through subcutaneous and intravenous dosing, including challenges by some insurance plans that impede patient care. "Specialists cannot see a patient initially and then have the remaining care provided by a doctor closer to the patient's home and still be covered by insurance," said Dr. Richard A. Lewis, Professor and Associate Chairman of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Medicare and insurance companies sometimes determine the location of care based on criteria that do not consider the patient's best interests and that are not necessarily the most cost-effective option, according to Dr. John W. Sleasman, Robert A. Good Professor and Chief-Division of Allergy, Immunology and
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