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WHAT'S NEWS
  • Beneficiaries in Two Medicare Part D Plans Must Choose One
    The Bush administration on Monday sent letters to hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries to notify them that they are enrolled in two Medicare prescription drug plans and will soon be removed from one plan, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, many beneficiaries who switched plans remained enrolled in the first plan. Beneficiaries in many cases "continued to use the first plan for some or all of their prescriptions, and pharmacies found that they could bill both plans for the same prescription." The administration has said that beneficiaries enrolled in two plans might be charged two premiums or improperly billed for other costs. (from California Health Line)

  • New! Recipes for Research
    Marilyn Alexander and the IMF community have come together to create one terrific cookbook and handy kitchen reference. From Autumn Apple Cake to Veal Stimbarada, there is something here for every taste. And if you aren't in the mood to cook tonight, there is an entire section with tips on everything from setting the table to stain remover. At only $15, it will make a great Mother's Day gift.

  • Cancer patient to get free drug
    Anyone who has been reading the Minute knows that myeloma treatment in Canada, specifically treatments based on thalidomide and Velcade, is a hot topic right now. At the center of it is retired carpenter Raymond Bouchard. He was denied access to a special-access program that would have provided a free drug (thalidomide) because a licensed alternative (Velcade) was available. At the time, a Health Canada representative was quoted as saying, "There is a licensed, approved treatment for multiple myeloma, so it would not be appropriate for Health Canada to provide access to thalidomide for the same indication. The whole reason for the special-access program is that the drug is not available for treating that condition." However, although Velcade is licensed in Ontario where he lives, it is not covered, requiring him to pay for a course of treatment, which runs about $35,000. Now Health Canada has said it was just a "clerical error" that kept him from getting the thalidomide. However, Donna Reece, a Toronto-based hematologist who specializes in myeloma, said she was denied Thalomid twice recently under Health Canada's special-access program. “The ability to obtain thalidomide remains uncertain and myeloma physicians and patients in Canada are in limbo,” Dr. Reece said. “I would hope we don't have to rely on clerical errors to obtain standard cancer treatment.”

  • Cost of Survival: New cancer drugs can extend life, but come at a high price
    When you're being robbed at gunpoint, the question often asked is, "Your money or your life?" Increasingly, that is the choice cancer patients are being offered. (from the Winston-Salem Journal)

  • On this Date
    On May 16, 1568, Mary Queen of Scots fled to England. On May 16, 1866, the U.S. Treasury added the nickel to its currency. On May 16, 1929, Hollywood celebrated its first Academy Awards ceremony. And on May 16, 2006, the IMF will hold the Fourth Annual Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  For event details, and to purchase tickets, please click here.

WHAT'S NEW IN RESEARCH

  • ARTICLES
    (IMF Scientific Advisors are marked with asterisks)
  • CLINICAL TRIALS

    If you would like more information about any clinical trial, you can call the IMF Hotline at 800-452-CURE. The Myeloma Matrix has a current list of all myeloma trials from pre-clinical to recently FDA approved. If you would like to browse trials currently open for enrollment, visit the Clinical Trials page of the IMF web site. Among the links, you will find EmergingMed, with whom the IMF has entered into a partnership to assist you in matching trials to your particular patient profile (i.e., stage of disease, previous treatment, how well you are able to carry out the activities of daily living, etc.) and by doing so, increase your chances of being eligible. You can also learn more about clinical trials by reviewing materials from the National Cancer Institute.


UPCOMING SEMINARS AND CLINICAL CONFERENCES

Seoul Patient & Family Seminar
April 8, 2006
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Multiple Myeloma Symposium
April 8, 2006
Seoul, South Korea
Advancing Access to Myeloma Treatment; Administration, Side Effects, and Implications for Survival
Nurses, help your patients gain access and information regarding the new regimens available for myeloma, earn CE credits, and enjoy a delicious breakfast at the same time. Come to a FREE symposium before the ONS 31st Annual Congress.
May 4, 2006
Vienna Patient & Family Seminar
May 5-6, 2006

Vienna, Austria
Multiple Strategies for Treating Myeloma: Case Discussions
Register now for this FREE case-based CME dinner activity for physicians coming to an area near you: Thursday, July 6, 2006, in Portland, Oregon and Thursday, August 3, 2006 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Portland Patient & Family Seminar
July 7-8, 2006

Portland, Oregon
Philadelphia Patient & Family Seminar
August 4-5, 2006

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • I Blog, You Blog, We All Blog
    Thanks to Bob Feltzin with help from Hotline Coordinator Nancy Baxter, we enjoyed our first blog from Fort Lauderdale Patient & Family Seminar. This is only the beginning, folks. We will blog from the upcoming Patient & Family Seminars in Portland and Philadelphia, and who knows where else. So, stay tuned.

See complete list of 2006 UPCOMING SEMINARS AND MEETINGS.


UPCOMING EVENTS

The IMF's comprehensive "How-to-FUNdraise" guide is what you need if you're thinking about fundraising in your community but don't know where to start. The guide contains the A - Z of fundraising ideas--like running in a local marathon and asking for donations per mile for myeloma; having a summer BBQ, where you charge a cover and hold a raffle; asking your local supermarket to donate wine and cheese, then selling tickets and having a cocktail party--as well as tips and guidelines for success. Check out the FUNdraisers below:

4th Annual Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award to go to Brian Durie, MD
May 16, 2006
Dr. Durie is being honored for his extensive body of work, much of it focused on the proper assessment of patients to ensure they receive the most effective care. Dr. Durie co-created the Durie/Salmon Myeloma Staging System, the first system ever developed to classify myeloma in a standard, universal fashion, and the vital building block for the International Staging System, also co-developed by Dr. Durie with the International Working Group. In total, Dr. Durie has written over 400 research papers, sixteen book chapters, and five books--work which has had an impact on myeloma treatment around the world.
The Stratford Runner
In Canada, Sheldon is going to run 1000 kilometers to raise money to support myeloma research.
Music Against Myeloma
April 5th, 2006
New York, New York

Victoria's Run for Myeloma
April 9, 2006
Reading, Great Britain

1st Memorial Schirinzi Golf Tournament
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Florence, Italy
Ralph Ferrizzi Golf Tournament
May 20 2006

Easton, Pennsylvania


7th Annual JC Golf Tournament
May 20, 2006

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Leona Cravotta Golf Tournament
May 20, 2006

Portland, Oregon

Terry DuBois’ Birthday Bash for Myeloma
June 10, 2006
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
5th Annual Multiple Musicians Against Multiple Myeloma
July 9, 2006

Great Neck, New York
  • Mail for the Cure Extended
    Many of you requested envelopes to participate in our Mail For The Cure campaign, but were unable to send them out by the end of the year. So we have decided to extend the program for another six months. So far, the campaign has raised over $8,000 to support the IMF's programs, and we know there will be a lot more coming in judging by your requests for information. If you have any questions or would like more envelopes and/or a letter template, please contact Suzanne Battaglia at SBattaglia@myeloma.org or at (800) 452-CURE (2873).

SHOP FOR THE IMF

Shop at leading internet retailers (e-tailers) like Amazon.com, and they will donate a portion of your purchase to the IMF. You pay no more than you would normally for everything from clothing to computers to cruises. Whatever you buy, the programs, publications and research supported by the IMF will benefit.

Visit our Shop for the IMF page at http://shop.myeloma.org to see the complete list of popular etailers who will donate a portion of your purchase to the IMF. Giving has never been more painless!

NEW!! Ribbon of Hope Ornament
Whether you hang one on your holiday tree, your wall, or any other creative place you can think of, the IMF's 4-inch holiday ornament will bring a message of hope to anyone you give it to. We have a limited number available at only $10 each, so why not order one today?


Imagine Moving Forward is the theme of the IMF's popular myeloma bracelet. At medical conferences and patient & family seminars we see people wearing them in honor, celebration, or in memory of a loved one. They're only $1 each in sets of 10, so order them for everyone you know who has been touched by myeloma. Order them on the web. If you have questions about the bracelets or would like more information, contact Suzanne Battaglia at (800) 452-2873, ext. 227, or SBattaglia@myeloma.org.

See more exciting ways to help the IMF continue its important work in education, support and research.


ITEMS OF INTEREST

BANK ON A CURE®
International Staging System
NexProfiler
A tool to help understand the current status of the disease and the questions you should be asking.
HealthTalk's Multiple Myeloma Education Network

The HealthWell Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization that helps individuals afford prescription medications they are taking for specific illnesses. The Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible patients to cover certain out-of-pocket health care costs, including:

    • Prescription drug coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles
    • Health insurance premiums
    • Other selected out-of-pocket health care costs

The HealthWell Foundation has recently opened the Multiple Myeloma fund to help even more patients gain access to the best health care available.  You can contact them at (800) 675-8416 or at www.healthwellfoundation.org.

Patient Access Network Foundation (PANF) provides copay assistance for myeloma. Thalomid is the MRDD product covered for this condition. The PANF formerly just covered qualified myeloma patients' erythropoietin alpha expenses. Patients or healthcare providers may initiate the application process. Applications must be completed by both physician and patient, and income verification is required. Their phone number is 1-866-316-7263.
Walgreens offers help in making Medicare prescription insurance plan choice.
You fill out a form, take it to your nearest Walgreens, and they give you a free report that tells you all the major plans available in your area, including their web addresses and phone numbers; how many of your current prescriptions each plan covers; each plan's monthly premium and deductible; the co-pays for each class of prescription and more.

Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Tax-deductible donations in honor of a friend or family member make great gifts and are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion. You can donate online or by calling the IMF at (800) 452-CURE. We sincerely thank you for your support.