A ‘one-of-a-kind’ medication access program from HAE International (HAEi) is now successfully delivering potentially life-saving medication to patients in South Africa, who suffer from the rare genetic condition hereditary angioedema (HAE).
HAE causes severe and unpredictable swelling (edema) in different areas of the body including the hands, feet, and face. Patients experience bouts of excruciating abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting caused by gastrointestinal swelling. Laryngeal edema is particularly dangerous and can lead to death by asphyxiation. The historical mortality for untreated patients can be as high as 30 percent. There is no cure for HAE but effective treatments exist to control symptoms.
No modern medications are commercially available in South Africa therefore until now HAE patients were unable to access them. “The HAEi Global Access Program (HAEi GAP) offers a regulatory compliant process that allows healthcare professionals to offer treatment for their HAE patients,” says Henrik Balle Boysen, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of HAE International. “We are delighted to have initiated HAEi GAP in South Africa where patients will now have the option to access an effective therapy to treat painful, debilitating, and potentially life-threatening HAE swellings.”
The first shipment of medication to South Africa was requested by Associate Professor Jonny Peter from Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town Lung Institute Allergy and Immunology Unit, Cape Town. “It is wonderful to finally be able to access a rapid, targeted treatment for our HAE patients. The HAEi GAP provides an access route to much- needed targeted treatments at reasonable costing that is fundamental to HAE patients having the freedom to live their own lives and to be in control of HAE” commented Dr Peter.
The Netherlands based Pharming NV is the HAEi GAP pharmaceutical company partner. Mischa Boeijen, Sr. Product Manager Ruconest® of Pharming said “Pharming is extremely privileged to be part of the Global Access Program, a successful collaboration project initiated with HAEi. We are delighted to be able to provide Ruconest®, a potentially life-saving therapy to those patients in South Africa who would otherwise not be able to access it. Pharming looks forward to extending our reach to patients across the globe in the future.”
Inceptua is supporting HAEi and Pharming as a specialist service provider. Mark Corbett, Executive Vice-President of Inceptua Medicines Access said