depends on your insurance, if no insurance contact drug companies, there are some on here or if you search you can find phone numbers, best wishes
25 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR
My husband is currently on treatment and may be switching insurances because the current policy we have will only cover up to $25,000 a year in prescription costs (after a $700 deductible), and treatment will be more than that (he's a geno 1, expected tx timeframe being 48 weeks or more...).
In our case, as example, the new insurance will allow a $10 copay/month per rx @ a pharmacy, or /3months through mail order. Insurance companies' prescription coverages vary greatly, as well as do retail costs for meds, but most of the large pharmacies like Walgreens, etc. have a place on the website to look up the cost of medications if you're paying retail and out-of-pocket. (Be warned, with no health coverage the treatment drugs are not easily affordable.)
If you don't have health coverage and are a military veteran, you may be able to get free treatment through your local VA Hospital. Or, if you are not, you may able to enroll in a clinical trial (most frequently found at large University Hospitals), where medication and treatment is free of charge for participants of such trials.
Also, Schering-Plough and Hoffman-Roche, the two makers of the drug Interferon, may offer assistance if you contact them directly. Hope this helps, and best of luck.
The total cost, copays, labs and meds the insurance companies pay for is somewhere around $70.000 to $80.000 for 48 weeks give or take.
My insurance covered most of it but the drugs were billed at about $6000 per 4 week supply (including Procrit for 40 of my 48 weeks). Not sure what the doctor visits and lab fees were because I never saw the invoices, I just paid the co-payments which were high enough. Then there was the biopsy...not sure but I believe it was billed around $2000. I never added it all up because its just too depressing to contemplate.
You could look for a trial if you don't have insurance. Then the research company pays for your meds and procedures/tests etc.
I found the quality of care much better in the trial that what I experienced on my previous tx which I had to pay for as my genotype is not funded for treatment here in NZ.
Here's a list of contacts copied from another thread. I wish you luck, please keep us posted.
You can contact the following for questions regarding patient financial assistance:
Pegassist (Roche Pegasys system): 1-877-734-2797
Commitment to Care (Schering- Plough PEG-Intron system): 1-800-521-7157
Rousch Pegassist Resource Center 877-734-2797
Healthwell Foundation 800-675-8416
Chronic Disease fund 877-968-7233
Shared Solutions 800-887-8100
Free procrit, call 1-800-553-3851
Just go to www.procritline.com
My treatment is pegetron combination therapy and the four week kit runs $1973 canadian. Fortunately my health coverage at work is 100%. I pay by credit card and submit my reciepts, get it all back. So I'm just carrying the interest on the bill.
Try to find a clinical trial or a study, and it's free. They'll even pay you if you have parking expenses related to the trial. I'm on one of the Schering Plough studies, and they are probably the best around as far as being thorough, and treating their patients with respect.
I am also located in MD and would like to know if you know of any trials starting with Schering Plough. I am due to talk to the Hepatologist this coming Monday about treatment, but don't have a lot of hope with my insurance company. Thinking I am not going to be able to make the co-pays for meds. BTW, do you know if most Hepatologists are aware of these studies and maybe participating as well? In inquired with the Hepatologist's secretary about what would happen if I sought treatment as was told it would be a lot of behind the scenes work for them to set it up with the insurance company ect. Just trying to plan ahead, I know they wanted a copay of $126 for a drug that cost somewhere around $600 recently, so I know I am not going to be able to afford $126+ for meds a week.
My doctor is Dr. Ravandhran, of Digestive Disease Associates. He is a GI, but contrary to what you might hear people post on this board about GIs, he is VERY knowledgeable about Hep C. I think he pretty much recruits people for studies and clinical trials. I first saw him in late 2006, and he did my biopsy in January of '07. I decided against treatment at the point in time. I now have better health insurance and decided to see him again since I didn't need a referral. I had just been monitoring my LFTs every 6 months through my primary doctor. Well, he talked me into trying treatment. My study coordinator says the Schering studies are the best ones because they are very thorough and have a lot of respect for their patients. The study I'm in has no placebo arms. Not sure if that is true of all Shering studies, but I'm guessing it is. You will always at least get interferon and Riba. I go to the office on Wilkens Ave. by the Giant. The phone number is 410-247-7500, and the doctor you want is again Dr. Ravendhran. You should ask your hep if he/she is familiar with him. I've known others who have used him for their treatment. I have another number at home for my study coordinator. I'll put it up later if you don't have any luck with the doctor. She might actually be able to give you better study-related information. I just updated the software in my Blackberry and I lost a lot of my numbers. I think that is one of the ones I lost. I have her card at home. I have good insurance (Open Access Blue Choice) and I don't think I'd want to do the co pay on these meds. There are no generic equivalents.
The drugs were about $850/month that my insurance didn't pay. I saw the doctor every other month during that time and had blood drawn every other week. Some of the visits and labwork might not have been needed if I were not a transplant patient. I would estimate my part as around $14,000 per year.
The financial costs are a small part ...dont forget the emotional costs which may wreak havoc on ones mind and soul.....what price do you put on this???
Rocker, you're in Canada. You have to remember that things are different in Canada than in the U.S. We never have to worry or concern ourselves about a bill for our biopsies, our doctor's visits, our blood tests, none of it. It's all covered by the government. (Well, us through taxes but that's not what I mean.) The cost to us is in the medication. Even at that, for alot of us, our work insurance covers a good chunk of it and then you can apply to Trillium for coverage above and beyond which may or may not make a difference at all depending on your genotype and your income and takes a helluva long time to get approved. I don't know how I would have managed this in the U.S. I see an Endocrinologist and a Hepatologist...and a Psychiatrist for that matter in relation to my treatment. The only cost to me has been parking when I go for my visits. I've had all sorts of tests run and not a dime comes out of my pocket.
Look how stressed you are with your current circumstances. Can you imagine how stressed you would be if you had to cover the medical care with your treatment? A very real concern for our American friends and I really don't know how y'all manage it.
I hope Obamba can help the heath care system in the USA
"The financial costs are a small part ...dont forget the emotional costs which may wreak havoc on ones mind and soul.....what price do you put on this???"
From all I have learned on this forum, I realize that Tx'ing may not be easy, but it might be a start in the right direction. The emotional cost has been high so far, just with having gotten the diagnosis and the wondering of how I am going to handle this. I have a husband that is not much help around the house, I do dog rescue, plus bird rescue and cleaning, plus working, (and a business that is hit the skids with this recession) and have a dog now with cancer that I am afraid of losing. I would prefer to wait for treatment, but with a Hepatologist that thinks I am early cirrhotic I may not have that option. I do however have one friend, and my mother who believe that if anyone can do this, I can! I believe that as well. What price do I put on this??? Depends on how you look at it. To be able to think I will be around to handle things in the future and not be sickly and add further burden on my family as my health goes down and the worry over a transplant ect. it seems a small cost to pay. If things get rough during tx, I hope I am able to pull myself together long enough to remind myself this will not be forever, just the intended amount of weeks, or at least pull myself together long enough to get to a good shrink and get on anti-depressants.I somehow am hoping that everything with me emotionally and financially can be worked out before I start, this will take huge burden off of me, so I can handle what I need to handle.
thanks for listening.