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1547916 tn?1294284211

$ + Rank to inject Interferon & Ribavirin pls?

I'm an Australian in a small city in Malaysia.
The city does not have a GastroEntologist, let alone a Hepatologist.
I'm looking for input from doctors in Australia, USA and any other countries please
+ input from patients who have had to buy privately please.  

I have just had real time PCR and result is 476.  Normal is <43 iU/mL
The diagnosis is HCV subtype 3a
Rx: 6 months therapy recommended.

My research tells me Rx is expected to be
Interferon IFN Alpha 2a 3mlU
Ribivirin 1,000-2,000 mg/day (I weigh 70kg)
x 3 weekly

BUT I'm 8 hrs round trip and many $$$ petrol or bus fare etc from a Hepatologist in the capital city.
I'm trying to swing getting the injections done by a local doctor.

QUESTIONS: (Maybe answers by different people)
1)a)  In other countries, what rank of medical personnel needs to do do the injections please?
   b) Is this because of cost or another reason please?

2) Can anyone tell me the private costs of buying the above medications please?  
I've come up with VERY ROUGHLY about $A/$US 3,000 (+ another $2,500 transport)

Thank you ever so people, and particularly the doctors giving themselves so much to help patients.

Bill Oliver
Australian in Malaysia
13 Responses
87972 tn?1322664839
Hi Bill,

Patients in most developed nations self-inject the interferon. It’s a subcutaneous injection; the process is similar to injecting insulin. Physicians or nurses aren’t typically involved with injection procedure itself.

These medications are relatively expensive; here in the States, the cost for 24 weeks pegylated interferon/ribavirin, if purchased by cash out of pocket would cost (roughly) USD $14,000. (AUD $13,675).

The interferon requires refrigeration; it is shipped overnight in cold-pack cooler containers.

Welcome to the discussion group, by the way-

1542388 tn?1293855413
Bill, I don't know if this will help or not, but www.canadadrugs.com sells both the Inteferon/Ribavirin. I've done business with them on other meds and was happy with service and their prices saved a good amount of $, but savings depends on the drug.

1225178 tn?1318984204
I self inject in my abdomen... no problem at all. The first couple of shots made me kind of nervous but now that I'm on shot 37, it's a piece of cake.

1118724 tn?1357014191
Remember in shipping the interferon must remain refrigerated. Usually it's shipped surrounded by ice packs and insulation. In the US it's shipped overnight. Is the mail that good in your part of Malay? Just bringing out another consideration.
1547916 tn?1294284211
Multiple Thanks:
Bill1954: - $14k -aaaghh! Bill1950!
Spoon5665: Thanks - I also checked PharmacyEscrow who I have done work for previously as a copywriter. I written reports on various problem illnesses and solution medications. www.billoliver.net/SME.html
Diane12855 - Thanks. Nice to know.
"Isn't someone going to tell me 'welcome to the world of druggies that shoot up?" :-)
hcvJames: BIG thanks. We'll take an ice pack to the hospital 4 hrs away.
As a husband of ex-government servant, I've been getting free health care to now.
I'll try and convince them I'm not going to sell the stuff!
(With asthma puffers, we have to return the empty puffers.  They are concerned we will sell it.)


1523804 tn?1316564509
I am new here, but was in almost identical circumstances in India, living almost 5  hours travel by bus from Calcutta. The injection is the least  of  your worries. The combination of Interferon and ribavirin does a variety of  different things to  your body,  particularly in my case the platelet count and white blood cell count. You may need to check these regularly and take additional meds (neopogen) if they drop too much. Anemia may  also  be an issue.
I found it good to go in to Calcutta, take a shot there, and carry two with me in a cooler, keep them in a fridge,(watch out for power cuts of longer than 6 hours), do them, one each week and then go back in for the next etc, and get a blood check done.
I found it  best to have some paracetamol, and then take the shot just when I was ready to leave, that way I could be home before it really kicked in. I seem to remember Malaysia in general is not as chaotic as India, but it's no fun travelling in crowded buses or trains while full of INF/riba especially in the middle of summer.
If your liver is not seriously threatened, it would be worth considering delaying treatment if you are likely to be better located later.
Whatever you decide there is a wealth of knowledge here, so take advantage of it, as it may be a rough 24 weeks.
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