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$150,000. Yearly Lung Drug for One Patient. P.S. Does It Work?!

When is COPD not COPD?
Why does a special group measuring only 1% of all COPDers (4th leading cause of death in the U.S), get a drug costing $150,000. Per patient, per year and ongoing research. while the other 99% of COPDers get – research dollars?

A regular COPDer should pray they turn into one of the 1% group – because there is help out there for that 1% COPD.
The two national COPD support groups were organized and are run by the same 1% group of COPDers. – alpha-1 folks..
Why the discrepancy in treatment interest by a leading respiratory hospital?

COPDers…it is NOT OKAY that a small group of us gets research dollars into real treatments for their COPD (keeps their FEV1 from dropping the study disproved)
The fact is my FEV1 numbers stayed the same for years WITHOUT a $150,000 drug.

We seem to be funding this gross negligent misuse of public funds on a small group of folks while nothing is helping the other 99% of us….no research.

National Jewish is the leading respiratory hospital in the country and has been for 12 years.
I went to their website and looked up the different statements re: alpha-1 and regular COPD.

I then called National Jewish to ask them to tell me what – specifically- they are doing for COPDers…the other 99%. They – literally – had nothing to say. I listened to silence until I quietly put down my phone.

I will ask again. Why the emphasis on research for the 1% group?

Okay – I will ask. If alpha-1 is genetic – is the majority of the people who have it Jewish?


Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Program

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (sometimes shortened to Alpha-1) is a hereditary condition that can cause liver disease in infants, children, and adults and can also lead to lung disease in adults.

National Jewish Health is one of the best places in the world to be treated for the adult lung and liver disease caused by Alpha-1. Our doctors have every necessary tool at their fingertips to diagnose and treat this condition. While we do not treat infants or children with Alpha-1 liver disease, we have a close working relationship with The Children’s Hospital in Denver and will make a referral to the appropriate pediatric liver specialist.

Alpha-1 is one of the most common inherited disorders and accounts for about 1 percent of all COPD (chronic obstructive lung disease) in the United States. Research is constantly being done to develop new therapies. Doctors at National Jewish Health have been involved in virtually every new drug evaluated for Alpha-1.

Currently trials are underway or planned to evaluate inhaled therapies and gene therapy for the condition. Our doctors and researchers are always looking for new ways to manage and treat Alpha-1 and other chronic lung diseases.

Doctors at National Jewish Health follow one of the largest groups of Alpha-1 patients in the world. The program here has been devoted to the care of families with Alpha-1 since 1981.

Since Alpha-1 is a genetic condition, we invite all immediate family members to participate in the initial visit, if possible.


COPD Program
The COPD Program offers comprehensive, individualized care for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

As the region’s only full-service program, our goal is to help patients manage their disease effectively and to live full and active lives.

The COPD Program offers:
• Unique, collaborative approach proven to enhance quality of life.
• Personalized care plan and individualized take-home binder for every patient.
• Cutting edge diagnostic testing and latest treatments for COPD.
• Nutritional counseling.
• Specialized pulmonary and physical rehabilitation programs.
• Personalized education and group classes.
• Behavioral health and psychosocial services.
• Evaluation for potential lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) and lung transplant.

Dedicated Team of Experts
The COPD program team of specialists are dedicated to the goal of helping people with COPD “take charge” of their breathing and regain or maintain control of their lives. We are here to partner with you to manage your lung disease in the best way possible. People with COPD can lead active and full lives.

At each visit, you will meet with physicians and/or nurse practitioners who are experts in the field of COPD.
A comprehensive personal COPD plan will be created. This plan will help you manage your COPD, with a focus on maximizing your respiratory health through education, rehabilitation, nutrition and medications. We will consider any other medical conditions or special needs you may have, and you will have appointments with other healthcare professionals. They will address medical and lifestyle issues that impact your quality of life.

More later… Sharon O’Hara

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