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IG Living Advocate Podcast

IG Living Advocate Podcast

Author: Abbie Cornett

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IG Living Advocate podcast connects you to get your questions answered from experts on a variety of topics related to living with a chronic illness. IG Living is the only magazine for the immune globulin (IG) community comprised of patients who suffer from chronic illness and their
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 Abbie: Hello, and thank you for joining us. My name is Abbie Cornett, and I am the patient advocate for IGLiving magazine. This is our first podcast episode of IG Living Advocate and a transition from our Readers Teleconferences. With this podcast, we have an opportunity for our readers to hear from healthcare experts on topics important to them.  In this first episode, we will be talking about the increased demand for immune globulin (IG) products and its effect on patient access. Today, we have with us guest expert Patrick M. Schmidt, chief executive officer of FFF Enterprises, also known as triple F, and Nufactor, a Specialty Infusion Company. Patrick has been with FFF since its inception in 1988. In 1995, FFF launched Nufactor to address the high costs and access issues related to IG therapy. Patrick is recognized as a leader in the healthcare community, having introduced several industry firsts that have paved the way to create solutions to challenges faced by both healthcare providers and their patients. Abbie: Good morning, Patrick, and thank you for joining us. In recent weeks, patients across the United States have been notified that their scheduled infusions are either being delayed or cancelled due to a shortage of IG products. Understandably, this has caused concern for patients who depend on these lifesaving treatments for their acute or chronic conditions. Patrick, could you please give us some history and background on IG products and, most importantly, the recent shortages of IG products? Patrick: Yes, Abbie, thank you very much. I’d be happy to, and it’s an honor to join you here with IG Living magazine and the readers who are listening to the podcast today on a very very important subject. I’m happy to go into a little bit of the background on the IG marketplace and IG products, which you know, from my perspective, is one of the most fascinating products on the planet. If we look at the history, intravenous IG (IVIG) was the first IG product introduced in 1981, and I believe it was a product called Gamimune by then a company called Cutter Biologics, which became Cutter and then Miles and then Bayer, and then Talecris, which is also known now as Grifols. Gamimune was the predecessor to one of the very popular products in the marketplace right now, Gamunex-C, which is as I mentioned manufactured by Grifols, a Spanish company. But, the interesting part about the whole plasma-derived product market, which IG is a very important component of, is the first plasma-derived product was used 39 years earlier right after Dec. 7, 1942, which most people remember the day in infamy around Pearl Harbor. And, the first plasma product that was introduced in the United States for healthcare purposes was a product called human serum albumin. And human serum albumin is credited with saving the lives of thousands of our servicemen after World War II. So the whole process to produce plasma-derived products that are derived from plasma was a World War II innovation. And, the manufacturing process that was used then is still used today as a process to produce albumin, and it was later refined and some additional processes were added to produce IG and abstract the antibodies that are in short supply today.So, from my perspective, there’s nothing on the planet like IG. It’s used to treat more disease states, if you will, from the primary immune deficiencies to the secondary immune deficiencies (the latter of which are one of the recent factors causing some of the shortages we’re experiencing right now the United States) and to a whole host of a growing list of autoimmune disorders. And, I’m sure we have many of our constituents who are very familiarSupport the show (
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