February 9, 2011 >> back to issue

International Partners Write to Support Ariz. Transplant Funding

A decade ago, PHA Australia requested our help in trying to get their first PH-treating drug approved. The letters PHA submitted included the story of a U.S. patient whose life was extended and improved by Flolan and the story of a patient in Australia who expected to live only six months without that treatment. We posed the question, Is a life in the U.S. worth more than a life in Australia? and that query made some impact. Today, seven treatments are approved in Australia, including Epoprostenol.

Now, in response to recent legislation in Arizona, PHA has been honored to have our international partners return that favor and write in support of the U.S. community. Arizona recently implemented budget cuts and stopped financing certain transplant operations under the state's version of Medicaid. PHA and our international partners have joined a growing effort to pressure the Arizona legislature to repeal these cuts. “I personally was transplanted in 2009, and would probably not still be alive without a transplant,” wrote Melanie Gallant-DeWavrin, President of the French PH association.

Melanie now leads that organization, lives an almost normal life, and cares for her family. “Such examples show that it is a benefit for the whole society when patients can recover from such a disease,” Melanie wrote. PHA is grateful to our partners in Australia, Canada, France, Norway, and Spain for offering these letters of support.

For more information or to find out how you can help, contact Katie at or 301-565-3004 x749.


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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.