Stand with Libby to require insurance companies to cover mitochondrial disease treatment.
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Between 1,000 and 4,000 children are born with mitochondrial disease each year, a life threatening, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fail to produce enough energy for cell or organ function. Our 10 year old daughter Libby is one of those children. She was diagnosed with Complex 1 NDUFS2 Mitochondrial Disease. She's sweet, spunky, and fun and deals with symptoms of her disease every day.
There are many variants of Mitochondrial Disease, which present with a wide range of symptoms and severity, but they all have one thing in common: there is currently NO cure.
There are, however, drug therapies which can greatly improve quality of life and slow disease progression. A Mito Cocktail of vitamins and supplements can make a world of difference to Mito patients, turning bad days to good by maximizing the function of the Mitochondria.
Health Insurance companies are not required to cover these therapies in Arkansas. The drugs are relatively inexpensive and readily available, so there is no financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to produce the drugs, study their effects, or compel insurance companies to pay for them. The burden is shifted to the Mito patients and their families, at a cost of approximately $500-$1,000 per month depending on what the physician has determined is needed for the patient. Last year, Kentucky led the way and began requiring insurance companies to cover these treatments, which are the ONLY treatments currently available for mitochondrial disease patients.
We are petitioning the State of Arkansas to require health insurance companies to cover the cost of the Mito Cocktail. This provision makes financial sense, because by employing these readily available daily therapies, expensive hospitalizations down the road may be minimized or even avoided. But it also makes moral sense. These debilitating diseases affect life at its most basic level. There is simply NO justification for denying relief to those afflicted with this life threatening disease.
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