Foundation Subsidizes CF Infection Drug
Chiron, of Emeryville, Calif, in late 2003 began funding the TOBI Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to the inhalation antibiotic TOBI® for uninsured and underinsured people with cystic fibrosis (CF) who also have chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection, which is common in people with CF.

Richard Ford, managing director for TOBI Foundation, says one reason the foundation arose was in response to a surge in the underinsured population. Increased health care costs have impelled insurance companies to shift part of the financial burden to patients in the form of increased co-payments and deductibles, he says.

“It’s not at all uncommon now to see cost-sharing in the range of 20% of the cost of the drug,” Ford says. “Twenty percent of a $100 drug is very different than 20% of a drug that might cost several thousand per month.”

The foundation, governed by an independent board of directors and operated by experienced health care professionals, provides both grants and insurance counseling.

To learn more about the TOBI Foundation, visit  

• Draeger Inks Agreement for BIS
By the end of 2004, Draeger Medical multiparameter patient monitoring systems will be equipped with Aspect Medical Systems Inc’s Bispectral Index (BIS™) technology. The integration is the result of a multi-year, worldwide development and licensing agreement between Draeger Medical Systems, Luebeck, Germany, and Aspect Medical Systems, Newton, Mass.

“Hospitals around the world are requesting BIS information,” says Bill Isenberg, president of Draeger Medical Systems, “and we’re pleased to work with Aspect to deliver an easy-to-use, integrated BIS solution.”

• Dey Receives Patent for AccuNeb
In March, Napa, Calif-based Dey LP, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on prescription drug products for the treatment of selected respiratory diseases and allergies, received a patent covering AccuNeb® from the US Patent and Trademark Office. AccuNeb is a lower-concentration, unit-dose albuterol sulfate approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of asthma in children aged 2 to 12.