You won’t just be buying factor, you’ll be buying yourself better treatment centers and, hopefully someday soon, a cure
By Jeff Cornett, RN MSN Director of Training, Research, & Advocacy
My elementary school had a school store. Started by the PTA, the store was staffed by students before classes began for the day and sold pencils, paper, and other supplies. The prices were competitive, probably even better than those of local merchants. But we didn’t buy from the school store because of price -- we bought from the store because of what it did for our school. The money raised by the store allowed us, the students and the PTA, to fund projects that would otherwise not have happened. In the 1960s in Florida, it allowed us to finally air-condition all of our classrooms.
In the 1970s, Georgia families with hemophilia started something similar. They created a nonprofit pharmacy to sell factor concentrate. The price was lower than commercial pharmacies but produced enough money so that nurses could be hired to teach patients how to use the medicine. It eventually became the major source of funding for hemophilia treatment centers in the state. That Hemophilia of Georgia nonprofit pharmacy is now one of the leading funders of research for a cure for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. And just like the elementary school PTA, patients and their family members, through HoG’s volunteer board of directors, decide how the money will be spent.
In these days of “managed care” and “pharmacy benefit managers,” patients don’t always have a choice about where they buy their factor; their insurance company tells them which pharmacy they have to use. When you do have a choice, I hope that you will get your factor from Hemophilia of Georgia. As Georgia’s only nonprofit pharmacy specializing in bleeding disorders, you’ll know that your money is going to the hemophilia community and not into a shareholder’s pocket. You won’t just be buying factor, you’ll be buying yourself better treatment centers and, hopefully someday soon, a cure.