The Discovery Eye Foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, has become an important ally of VisionAware.org, especially in the area of patient education for macular degeneration. The primary mission of the Discovery Eye Foundation is twofold:
- Funding cutting-edge research to find new treatments and cures for retinal and corneal eye diseases
- Empowering people with up-to-date, accurate information and personalized support through their component programs: the Macular Degeneration Partnership and the National Keratoconus Foundation.
Recently, the Discovery Eye Foundation launched the Discovery Eye Foundation blog, featuring information on eye disease, eye research, nutrition, low vision resources, technology, and healthy lifestyle choices. Staff writers and guest bloggers include leading ophthalmologists, optometrists, eye researchers, low vision specialists, nutritionists – and even me, who penned a post on a topic near and dear to all vision rehabilitation professionals: Low Vision: What to Do When “There’s Nothing More That Can be Done”.
Spotlight on Macular Degeneration Partnership at Discovery Eye Foundation
The mission of Macular Degeneration Partnership (MDP) is to employ a multi-faceted approach in both the treatment of the disease and the support of persons with age-related macular degeneration (AMD):
We are dedicated to making sure that you and your family members have the best information available to you and all the tools you need to live well with AMD. We want you to know that there is hope and help.
People who are diagnosed with macular degeneration are often given the impression that they must simply accept vision loss and that there is nothing that can be done. Instead, you can actually do something, even if medicine cannot treat the disease. Our mission is to help you on that journey with information, resources and personal support.
Our mission is to provide comprehensive, easily understood, and up-to-the-minute information about macular degeneration for everyone who needs it.
We support ongoing research in macular degeneration to help find new treatments and a cure for this sight-robbing disease.
Through our efforts, we will continue to coordinate advocacy campaigns throughout the world. We will use all tools available to us – the internet, the telephone, public events, and printed materials.
The MDP website contains a wealth of helpful information, including What is AMD?, Living with AMD, AMD Research, an e-newsletter, an “Ask an Expert” contact form, and a toll-free “warm line” at 888-430-9898.
Says Executive Director Judith Delgado, “What sets us apart is the personal attention and dedication MDP provides. We tailor the information to people’s individual needs, whether they are looking for a low vision center, need help understanding their treatment, are worried about a family member, or have questions about their vitamins. While we do not give medical advice, we do provide enough information to help people make their own decisions.”
The Macular Degeneration Partnership E-Newsletter
The current MDP e-newsletter contains excellent information on potential resources for financial aid for AMD injections:
The standard treatment for wet macular degeneration involves repeated injections into the eye. These can be very expensive, especially for someone without a secondary insurance. Lucentis and Eylea cost around $2,000 per injection. The financial burden can be overwhelming.
The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation is dedicated to providing help and hope to underinsured patients who would otherwise be unable to afford high-cost specialty medications. PAN provides assistance through nearly 60 disease-specific programs designed to help patients being treated for certain cancers, rare diseases and chronic illnesses – such as age-related macular degeneration.
Since 2004, PAN has provided nearly $400 million in financial assistance to more than 200,000 patients. PAN’s Age-Related Macular Degeneration Program provides qualifying patients with $4,000 per year to help afford the co-pays and coinsurance associated with their prescribed medications.
To qualify, patients must be insured and their insurance must cover the medication for which the patient seeks assistance, must reside and receive treatment in the United States, and must have a household income at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level ($78,650 for a family of two). For more information, visit their website or call 1-866-316-7263.
Both Genentech (Lucentis) and Regeneron (Eylea) also fund patient assistance programs. For Lucentis, it is the Patient Access Program. For Eylea, it is Eylea4U. Your doctor will need to fill out an enrollment form.
Support Groups at Macular Degeneration Partnership
MDP also sponsors monthly peer support groups in the Los Angeles area:
- Huntington Beach: Second Monday of each month, 12:30-2:00 in the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors Center, 1706 Orange Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
- Santa Monica: Second Tuesday of each month, 1:00-2:30 in the Santa Monica YMCA, Santa Monica, CA 90401
- Beverly Hills: Fourth Wednesday of each month, 1:00-2:30 in the Beverly Hills Library, second floor conference room, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Contact Macular Degeneration Partnership
Macular Degeneration Partnership
6222 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 260
Los Angeles, CA 90048
888-430-9898 (toll free)
Where you can find the Discovery Eye Foundation online:
Where you can find Macular Degeneration Partnership online: