It provides an opportunity for the financially challenged ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patient to access biologic treatment to prevent irreversible structural damage. Within the limit of available funds, we subsidise cost of biologic treatment for eligible persons. The aim of biologic treatment in AS patient is to prevent permanent structural damage due to the progression of the disease, to manage the symptoms of AS, and to improve productivity and quality of life of the patient. AS affects mainly the people of young age,with first symptoms usually start at the age between 20-35 years old. AS patients are always at the start of their higher education or career, and the impact of AS is often, but not limited to chronic pain,fatigue,frequent days off from work or class, reduce productive and loss of job in some cases.
The cost of biologic treatment is between RM 25,000 to RM50,000 per year, and continuous treatment is often required to manage the disease. Many patients cannot afford biologic treatment and continue to deteriorate and suffer in pain, which eventually may leads to loss of mobility and permanent structural damage. Arthritis Foundation Malaysia (AFM) appreciates this area of need and has set up a fund to assist those who requires biologic treatment, so they can live a normal live and continue to be productive and contribute to the society.
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Fund:
What Will The Fund Cover?
- The subsidy will usually cover up to 90% of the cost of biologic treatment for up to 6 months, a renewal application is required and subjected to fund availability. In addition, presciption of biologic treatment from a government funded hospital is needed.
- The AS Fund will not cover other related cost such as X-ray, lab test and other medications.
- No monies will be transferred to the patient. Payments will be made directly to the supplier of themedication.
Who Is Eligible?
- The recipient (patient) must be a Malaysian citizen or permanent resident.
- The recipient’s monthly income should not be more than RM3,500.
- Depending on the availability of funds, consideration may be given to applicants whose combined monthly family members’ income is higher than RM3,500. However, the amount of the subsidy will be at the discretion of the AS Fund Committee.
How Do I Apply For Assistance?
- Check that you are eligible (as above).
- Please download the Application Form here
Who Will Be Required To Fill The Form?
- You will require two attending specialist doctors (Rheumatologist) to help validate your need for biologic treatment.
- You will need to fill in your social and family details.
- A social worker at a government hospital will need to verify your social history.
- Your stories may be shared on our website, social media and/or other platforms.
What Documents are to be Submitted?
- Identification documents
- Details of last drawn salary
Who Will Approve My Application ?
- The AS Fund Committee consist of seven members nominated by AFM. They will meet quarterly to review all applications. Approval will be based on eligibility, need and availability of funds at any time. The decision of the Committee is final.
How Long Will The Approval Process Take?
- You should hear from AFM within 2 months if the application is complete.
How Does the AS Fund Raise Money?
- The Fund is dependent on donations from the public and money raised through the AFM.
- The AFM appeals to all persons and corporate bodies to donate into the “AS Fund”.
How do I make a donation to the AS Fund?
- Make a donation here or
- Please make your Cheque payable to “Arthritis Foundation Malaysia” and send it to:
Arthritis Foundation Malaysia
Peti Surat 10, Tingkat Bawah
Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah
16 Jalan Utara
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
AFM will issue an official receipt. Your donation will be tax exempt