I'm meeting w/my GI doctor at the end of May to discuss the new drugs for beginning treatment and was wondering if the doctor will discuss treatment costs with me or do I need to find this kind of information out myself? If I don't have prescription coverage or co-pays will all expenses be out of pocket or will it be applied to my deductible? I don't have the greatest insurance and don't know what the new meds will cost yet. Any and all information is appreciated! (I have never treated before, geno 1a, stage 2.5 fibrosis).
Also, as a side question, any information on getting treatment in Canada would be helpful. My husband has dual citizenship and I'm wondering if that might be an option for me. Thanks!
The current standard of care costs for pegylated interferon/ribavirin is roughly USD $20-25,000/year billed to insurance; meds only. It can become substantially more expensive if other drugs like Procrit or Neupogen are required as well.
I’m not sure we have a picture of cost structure for the PI drugs Telaprevir or Boceprevir yet; although industry analysts are projecting an additional $20,000 if memory serves.
If you have no Rx coverage, you might qualify for mfgr’s patient assistance:
Pegassist (Genentech Pegasys system): 888-941-3331
Commitment to Care (Merck PEG-Intron system): 866-363-6379, opt 1
"Also, as a side question, any information on getting treatment in Canada would be helpful".
The latest info from the medical community in Can. is that the new meds won"t be avail until 6 mo.or so from the release time in the U.S.
As far as how "Health Can". and the insurance companies assessing coverages especially as it is in regards to these new meds is still an unknown.
Does it make any substantial difference if one takes generic peginf/RIBA vs pegasys/copegasys?
I realize there will not be generics for new meds, so generics of SOC would be great if they are equally efficacy as trade?
Another option for you could be to contact Henry Ford Hospital. They conduct trials from the downtown location and if you can get into one of those everything is free. I participated in a trial through Henry Ford and no longer have Hep C.
If you get treatment in Canada and you aren't Canadian, you're paying for it. If you are a Canadian and you've been living outside of the U.S. for awhile, then apparently....though don't quote me....you have to be living in Canada for 3 months before getting your healthcare benefits back. That also depends from province to province. Why would you be looking to treat in Canada?
One of our old/former posters (went by the names Veggie, Veggie-Dip, PSP-N-Me) was an American who lived in northern Ontario (had moose in her backyard). Her hubby was a real Canadian (like a Mountie or some law enforcement). I think she managed to get treatment in that big Toronto place (where Dr. Jenny Heatcote) hangs out. But, I don't think tx was successful. I don't think it was a trial and I don't think she paid.
FlGuy, if he was law enforcement, she was probably covered under his benefit package rather than any government funding for drugs. Drugs are not fully covered here as a given by any provincial government and how much they are covered differs according to what is covered by any existing insurance plans through work for example, then your income and it varies from province to province.
If you are destitute, you're likely to get full coverage for drugs if you have no insurance through any workplan and no means to pay for prescription drugs. Beyond that, if you have no group insurance or partial group insurance, then you are given a deductible to pay - similar to a co-pay I guess - based on income. It also differs from province to province.
As for clinical trials at Henry Ford Hospital -- aren't all of the trials finished for the new drugs (Tela & Boce)? How would one go about getting into a trial -- just call the hospital and ask? I'm not real crazy about my GI doctor and staff there so I'm thinking I might get a second opinion from a Hepatologist ... suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
Dr Stuart Gordon at Henry Ford is excellent and a top Hepatologist. I made an appointment with him for a second opinion and then treated in one of the Boceprevir trials. There are other new drugs in the pipeline currently in trials that you could speak with him about at your appointment. In the meantime do a search at www.clinicaltrials.gov using "Hepatitis C and Michigan". See what comes up then you can start your homework prior to your appointment.
Here is Dr Gordons phone number 1-313- 916-8899. Call and make an appointment and he will discuss the available trials with you. If there are not any that you like you can request to put on a waiting list until a trial opens up that you are interested in. That's what I did and was very happy with Dr. Stuart Gordon, you will love him.
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