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Cost of Pegasys and Ribavirin
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Cost of Pegasys and Ribavirin

Hello everyone, I saw my nurse practitioner last week and will begin treatment next week.  She wrote me a my first prescription for a one month supply of Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) and another for a one month supply of Rebetol (ribavirin).

This question regards the cost of these meds.  Please let me know if the amounts I paid are in line with what y'all are paying.

I filled the prescriptions at the pharmacy of the University Hospital here in Seattle.  My experience is that they generally have the best prices on meds in the area.  However, these numbers seem kinda high compared to what I have heard from others.

The Pegasysprescription was filled with 4 - 180 mcg doses.  The cost was $1,206.

The Rebetol was filled with 120 - 200 mg capsules.  I am to take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.  The cost was $1,117.

I'd appreciate any feedback you can provide!

Happy Holidays everyone!
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36 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I completed 48 wks in Sept 2004.  I as on Pegintron and 800 mg Rebetol/Ribaviran.  My Peg cost (via Ins) was $1319 monthly and my Rebetol was $1052.  The last 3-4 months I took the generic Ribaviran (in lieu of Rebetol) which was only $695 monthly.  You may want to check into the generic.  It has only been approved & on the market since last summer or I probably would have been on it the entire tx.

Good luck with your tx.
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Avatar_f_tn
I gather you do not have inaurance that pays for the meds?
I glanced at the price charged to my insurance by the pharmacy and it said about 4,000 for pegasys and about the same for copegus, for a 3 month supply.  Maybe there is an online store that charges less?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for your help.  I guess my med prices are not out of line.  Also, I did not know about the availability of a generic version of ribavirin, which is significantly less expensive than the branded version.  That information alone will save me about $500 a month.  Thanks very much for the heads up!
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Avatar_m_tn
I get mine through Prescription Solution.  My cost for the Pegasys was $5.60 and $2.30 for the ribovin
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Avatar_n_tn
You indicated that you get Pegasys for $5.60 through perscription solution.  Was that a typo.  I'm finding $560.00 on line.  Is tha Perscriptionsolutions.com?
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Avatar_f_tn
My Pegasys and Ribavirin are approx $2,500 a month.  I pay a co-pay of $5.00 for the riba and $10 for the Peg each month.
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Avatar_f_tn
My co-pay for both is $110.00 a month.  Cost to insurance approx. $3000 mo.
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Avatar_m_tn
wow, I'm really glad I have good insurance. Damn.
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663420_tn?1248680985
I am in the process of joining a clinical trial in which case all the drugs are provided for free of charge. It includes the Interferon and Ribavirin plus the boceprevir. This program is sponsored by the drug company. I'm not sure why more of you aren't doing the clinical trials. I have Insurance, so if I had to pay anything it would only be a co pay of $15 per prescription. In this case maybe $30 per month. I just did my screening today for this program and should be starting my TX in the next 30 days. I would hate to think of paying some of the prices you people are talking about. I just took Xrays, bloodwork, EKG and a physical. It did not cost me 1 cent.
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Avatar_m_tn
To Keith, are these trials available in Arizona? Are they available for Genotype 3's?
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577132_tn?1314270126
You can look for trials here...

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=%22Hepatitis+C%2C+Chronic%22

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=%22Hepatitis+C%22
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663420_tn?1248680985
There are many different clinical trials being conducted through out the country. I would suggest talking to your doctor about clinical trials and see whats available in your area. If you don't think that your doctor is giving you the best advice I would suggest doing online research such as this web site and others to see what is available. There are certain conditions that must be made to qualify for these trials but it seems to me if one tries hard enough they should be able to find something available to them. Epipiny already gave you some links to check out. I was lucky to find a very good doctor here in San Diego who is considered very knowledgeable about HepC with a very great reputation. She gave me the info about the trial and got me set up for it. She also report very good results for this (Boceprevir)trial. Considering your chance are only about 40% to 50% SRV with the Interferon and Ribavirin alone. My chances are considered better with the possibilty of shorter Tx times. I'm being a little hopeful here but my viral loads are considered low and my health is very good outside the fact I have HepC. The bottom line is I still get my meds for free and I can't complain about that. The Teleprevir trial is having some good results as well and may be worth looking into. Good Luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
the BOC trial even supplies the rescue drugs.
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264121_tn?1313033056
Folks - we know that this is in response to a thread started in 2004, right?  
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663420_tn?1248680985
That's hilarious! I did not know that. I missed that part.
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264121_tn?1313033056
I wasn't certain ;)

But it was kind of instructive to see what different folks are paying in terms of their co-pay anyway.
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Avatar_f_tn
does anyone pay as high a co pay as I do?  I have Blue Cross full coverage & I am considering asking my doctor to change the ribavarin prescription to generic.  While $110.00 is not astronomical, I am feeling the economic pinch like everyone.
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264121_tn?1313033056
Mine was only $25/Mo (including both my pegasys and my ribavirin).  Of course, that doesn't include the myriad of co-pays I shelled out to deal with my sides.
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Avatar_m_tn
In canada there is a govt program that even pays for the co-pay...ITS called TRILLIUM
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Avatar_n_tn
guys, Can anyone tell me if these costs you are paying are with or without insurances?  Because i just called my insruance, and they said, i only have to pay $30 for Pegasys for 34 days and $10 for generic ribavirin.

Thanks,
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Avatar_f_tn
The real cost for me (without insurance) would have been $2,500 a month.  With my insurance, I pay only $15 a month.  Thank goodness for my insurance!  I'd say your insurance is great too if you can get by with paying $40 a month.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so lucky.  MY co pays were $20.00 each.  The Ribavarin I could get a 3 month supply for $40.00 .  Pegasys I could only get a month supply at a time.  I found it interesting that no one mentioned the programs supposedly available by Roche Pharmaceutical.  I have read and heard several times that if a person is unable to afford the medication for tx to call.  I FOUND IT!!!!!  If you knew how crazy my life has been you could really appreciate my last statement.  Anyway it states if you cannot afford tx to your case managerabout medication costs.  If you qualify we may be able to assist you financially.  I know not everyone has a case manager and I iknow at 2 or 3 people are saying hey.  The qualifications are probably so rigid I could meet the qualifications.  If you do not have a case manager how is aware of this program I would suggest asking your pharmacist for the number.  (It was a  pharmacists that referred to another pharmecitical company.  I had ins but they refused to pay for the specific med I was ordered.  The company wrote my doctor and my insurance company.  It approved for me at my regular copay.  You never lnow if you do not check it out.  I see this was more of an experiment to see response so I hope my info will help someone out there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was diagnosed with Hep C last year (Aug. 2007). I finally found a doctor to take my case, have been getting vaccines against Hep A and B through this past year [they have to be spread out].  My doctor no longer follows patients through 'treatment'.  My recent focus has been to locate a nearby source to 'oversee' my treatments...today I learned I have found one.  My online 'searching' gave me an education as to what seems to be the current [good results] 'cocktail' of Pegyasus and Ribivirin.  Because I'm on Social Security Disability, and have Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield (supplement) insurance, and am in the 'low income' group, my Pegysus co-pay will be (max) $5.60 a month (for four shots - 1 per week) the no insurance cash cost for it would be $2,064/mo., the Ribivirin co-pay will br $2.25 (I don't remember what the 'cash cost' would be)  Hope this helps.  God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
Iwas just dx with chronic hep c im supposed to see the Dr on 08/18/09 to start treatment i do not have any insurance and i see the cost of the meds are very expensive, Any advice for me please im desperate and i want to get well. My email address is ***@****. Thank u and may god bless everyone.
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87972_tn?1322664839
Hi Leslie,

The manufacturers of the drugs for HCV provide patient assistance for those that are uninsured, or underinsured; call whichever number is pertinent to your treatment:


Pegassist (Roche Pegasys system): 1-877-734-2797

Commitment to Care (Schering- Plough PEG-Intron system): 1-800-521-7157


Good luck—

Bill
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you bill for the information its a great help to me since im new at all this. God bless you
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosed with HCV 1A December 2008. I am very blessed I was able to get into a "CLINICAL TRIAL" study. I take Pegasys 180mg once a week, and Ribavirin 1200 mg (3 in morning, 2 at night)....all my medications, doctors visits, EKG's, eye exams, and all lab work are paid for. Also because I have to drive about 5 hr's to the "CALIFORNIA PACIFIC MEDICAL CENTER" in San Francisco they also pay my gas for travel. Although I am sick from the normal side effects of basic treatment all the medication is working fantastic. Also because I am in a "Clinical Trial" I am monitored very close, much more so then if I were just on regular treatment.

C.A.M ... in California
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979080_tn?1323437239
my insurance covers with a small copay , but I asked the pharmacy because I was

interested in some extra back up

I was quoted $2600 for Peg  and $1500 for Riba per month.

Needles to say I am not getting extra meds from the pharmacy.
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Avatar_n_tn
Picked up my first months supply of Inteferon and Ribavirin for $5.40. I was surprised as scripts have increased by a couple of dollars since the last time I needed some meds(a couple of years ago). I really feel sorry for those in the US that need this treatment.
What happens if you are broke do you just do without? If so, that is just wrong.
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Avatar_f_tn
Mine was $1200/month...You want to see something REALLY expensive? Neupogen and erthropoietin (rescue drugs) are about $6000/month...Yikes, huh? ~MM
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87972_tn?1322664839
Yes, we have a few kinks in our medical system left to work out :o). In the U.S., drug manufacturers provide patient assistance programs for those that can’t afford the cost of meds; this includes uninsured as well as underinsured. Our problems are with the providers; without insurance, we can’t access doctors to prescribe or manage our care.

Hopefully, we (the U.S.) will eventually learn from other developed nations and provide universal health care for our citizenry as well some day. Things are changing here, but ever so slowly…

Thanks for your thoughts,

Bill
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1117750_tn?1307390169
drugs in the states are the most expensive in the world , you guys get ripped of because of the insrance scams
one month of interferon is $600 in the uk
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Avatar_f_tn
what is  clinical trail studys for Hep-c?
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1747881_tn?1358189534
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_trials

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/search

The first link will explain what a clinical trial is, the second is where to search for a clinical trial that fits your needs. (condition, location, ect)
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm in the US and just started treatment. I have the Pegasys 180 shots once a week, plus the ribavirin 200mg (3) twice a day plus teleprevir, (2) 375mg tablets three times a day. I'm a Veteran so my medical has been free and thank G-d for that. The teleprevir is $400.00 a day. My doc told me every time he writes me a month's script for the teleprevir, it's like giving me a brand new Toyota Corolla...$ 12,000.00 a month.
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Avatar_m_tn
started clinical  trials   out of st. Pauls hospital in Vancouver BC
I take the teleprovere 3 tabs 3xday and ribavirin 200mg 2 tabs 2x day
and Peg interferon 180 1x week ..its free my enzyme has dropped from
50 in one month  and  they pay me to do it ...Canada Rocks ....
Booze is out but got a per for pot and went to the legal dispensary and scored some Killer BC purple Kush 10 bucks a gram and legal ....gotta love it here ..
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