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Immune Deficiency Foundation Honors Cerda Family and Volunteers From ABC's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'
Date:5/11/2009

In the U.S., there are approximately 250,000 people diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency disease and thousands more go undetected.

Primary immunodeficiency diseases occur in patients born with an immune system that is either absent or poorly functioning. There are over 150 different types of PIDD, all caused by genetic or intrinsic defects. People with PIDD live their entire lives more susceptible to infections -- enduring recurrent health problems and often developing serious and debilitating illnesses. With early diagnosis and appropriate therapies, many patients can live healthy and productive lives. Although some PIDD manifest in infancy or early childhood, some forms can occur in any decade of life.

Primary immunodeficiency diseases were a recent topic on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where Representatives Israel (D-NY), Brady (R-TX) and Schwartz (D-PA), and Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Alexander (R-TN), introduced the Medicare Patient IVIG Access Act of 2009 (H.R. 2002 and S. 701 respectively) - meant to remedy inadequate Medicare reimbursements for intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), and allow home infusion of IVIG for Medicare beneficiaries with PIDD. IVIG is a life-saving and life-enhancing therapy for tens of thousands of patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases, including Terri Cerda and her daughters. As a result of very high co-pay costs and inadequate reimbursement by Medicare, Cerda has not been able to receive her bimonthly infusions of IVIG for over five months, leaving her to constantly live in fear of an infection that could hinder her ability to care for her daughters.

"Much like the Cerda family's home makeover, we need an extreme makeover of policies in Washington that are blocking patient access to IVIG," added Boyle.

About the Immune Deficiency Foundation

The Immune Deficiency Foundation is the national patient organization dedicated to imp
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SOURCE Immune Deficiency Foundation
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