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Michelle8871
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 11/3/2008 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to share some info I found out that you may want to look into......
 
I have been wanting to try VSL#3 but the cost has been too much for me take on right now.
 
I just spoke with my medical insurance company and they told me that if my Dr. writes a prescription for VSL#3 DS (the prescription version) I can get a 3 months supply by mail order for $90!!!!!!
 
That is a huge savings since the over the counter version costs roughly $75 per month !
 
So for the those of you using VSL#3 or thinking about...check with your insurance about their mail order plans and see if this option may exist for you!
 
Good Luck!
Michelle
 
Newly diagnosed August 2008
Currently on 15mg prednisone, 12 Asacol per day, Mesaline enema nightly,Multi vitamin, Omega 3 and Calcium
Realizing that disease is a real pain in the ass!
Mother of a 5 year old and 12 old trying to get through each day with a smile on my face!


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 11/3/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Michelle -

Are you from the US? Or is DS only available somewhere else? What is the difference between VSL#3 and VSL#3 DS?
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.


Michelle8871
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 11/3/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Brandon
I am in the US...Massachusetts

Someone else on here had posted about the DS prescription version so that is how I originally heard of it.

I figured I would I would start with my prescription plan and see if they covered it before I even asked my Dr.

The DS is "double strength" so I assume you only need to take 1/2 of the regular VSL#3 dosage.

I am seeing my gastro tomorrow to find out IF he can write the script and get more details.

Like I said MY insurance company said the VSL#3 is not covered BUT VSL#3 DS is.

I will let you know what my Dr. says.
Newly diagnosed August 2008
Currently on 15mg prednisone, 12 Asacol per day, Mesaline enema nightly,Multi vitamin, Omega 3 and Calcium
Realizing that disease is a real pain in the ass!
Mother of a 5 year old and 12 old trying to get through each day with a smile on my face!


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 11/3/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info Michelle. I checked with my insurance, and the answer was "Absolutely not." I guess they don't even want me to appeal or request a special case. I'll just keep paying OTC prices.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.


Mrsarcasm
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 11/3/2008 5:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I take VSL #3 DS. I take 2 packets of it. The same strength of the over the counter one woudl be 4 packets. My insurance company (personal choice) did not cover it.
My doctor wrote an appeal. Saying that I have shown progress taking it and if this didn't work my next course of meds will include remicade.
They approved it with-in 48hours.
___________________________________________________
 
Colazal - 9 pills
Rowassa Enema - 1 nightly
VSL#3- 1 packet daily
Multi Vitiam - 1 daily
Vitiam C - 500mg daily
Nexium - 1 pill daily
Asacol - 9 pills
Lialda - 4 pills daily
Culturelle- 1 daily


Socalsd
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 11/3/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I have Bluecross of Ca and I have a prescription for VSL DS#3 My co pay is $40 for 6 boxes.
Prednisone 30mg a day
Clotrimazole Troche (keeps the thrush away from the Pred.
Remicaid
VSL 3DS


34 year old male Southern California


lovesara10
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/25/2011 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I just checked with United health care (UHC) which is a horrible insurance and Medco is their lousy prescription plan and it states the VSL #3 DS for 30 days (20 units which I believe = 20 packets ) with 900 b. Cell at 1 packet a day would cost me out of pocket over $975.68 and for 90 days would be over $2690.98. Are they nuts Wow and some of you take 4 packets a day. You are so blest not having lousy useless prescription plans like Medco. I am very upset since right now i am taking 1/2 cap Mira lax a day plus 2 stool softeners and 1 Co lace Laxative a day and still having a problem. I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis which means my colon and stomach is paralyzed. I hate UHC with a passion. I pay over 125.00 monthly and get very little for it. But this is the only insurance we are offered. And to buy this stuff OTC would be just as nuts. Thanks for letting me vent. Rae

Uncle George
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/30/2011 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I get my vsl#3ds from my dr. You must have it written for a 20 pack not 30. This way the insur will pay. It's a package thing . Bc bs paid 80% then Medicare paid the rest. I use it for UC. 2 months now 1 pack a day. Getting better. Low fiber. Green juice and soft foods. Off of all junk food and I am on gluten free stuff. I feel much better and the bleeding is controled.

Thanks Uncle George .

Post Edited (Uncle George) : 1/30/2011 1:00:46 PM (GMT-7)


aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2580
   Posted 2/2/2011 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Mrsarcasm said...
I take VSL #3 DS. I take 2 packets of it. The same strength of the over the counter one woudl be 4 packets. My insurance company (personal choice) did not cover it.
My doctor wrote an appeal. Saying that I have shown progress taking it and if this didn't work my next course of meds will include remicade.
They approved it with-in 48hours.


Thanks. I added that to my summarized bloodwork over the last decade for my GI visit today and he sprang into action and fired off another prescription and was going to make his case for it in the same way that an attorney attacks an injustice. He will be leading with the same business implication your doctor used - "Pay now or pay MORE later'.

SMSHartnett
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/9/2011 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,

I had to go to a special pharmacy to request the DLS-DS. There was no code for it so the insurance company would not initially pay for it. I was persistent and I had a prescription. They finally decided to pay for it and it is nothing short of miraculous. So if you insurance doesn't pay for it, buy some of the regular, try it for 10 days. Tell your doctor if it is working well. If so, call Sigma Mu, your pharmacy, and your doctor. Be diligent in getting them to work this out. This stuff is great and has made my life much easier.

MotherofTeenwithNoUC
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 3/27/2011 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
United Health Care insurance is the worst insurance company!  I spend over $600 per month paying insurance premiums to UHC for my son and I,  have a $1500 deductible per person  and $6000 max out of pocket per person (which I met by Feb 5 of this calender year).
My 14 year old son was diagnosed in January of this year with severe UC.  He had been bleeding in his stool for 3-4 months and didnt tell me.  By the time I got him admitted to the hospital, he had lost a third of his body's blood and was severly anemic. His entire Colon was ulcerated.   He hid his symtoms from me for months, even after being seen in the ER and by a GI Dr. three and six months previously.   He ended up spending 9 days in the hospital on IV steriods and was sent home on 50 mg Prednisone daily,which has been weaned down (6 weeks later) to 5 mg per day, Asacol 800mg HD (6 tablets per day), Poly-Iron (2Xday) and VSL#3 DS (1/2 packet 2Xday).  My insurance won't cover the Asacol 80mgHD and it is $700 per month.  We have so far been surviving on sample bottles but the Dr won't give us anymore. (Forgot to add that I am a single parent).  The Dr prescribed VSL#3 and my insurance would not cover it.   It was $159 a month for a 30 day supply.... however , they would cover VSL#3 DS for $30 per month copay.   We have been using the DS (double strength) and cutting the dose in half (half packet twice a day)  But since starting the VSL#3 DS, he has started having symptoms again of cramping and diarrhea.    Dr says the next step is Imuran.   Does anyone have any feedback on this drug? 
 
Thanks,
Mother of newly diagnosed Teen with UC

rey
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 346
   Posted 3/28/2011 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
i read the ingredients recently on the vsl 3 box and i think it had lactic acid listed as an ingredient close to the top- i'm not sure about this- but if you have lactose intolerance/allergy would this cause harm?
thanks

songlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3252
   Posted 3/28/2011 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
rey - I don't know the answer to your question.

Mother - I, too, have United HC - but possibly a different plan within it, since I have had some different experiences than you have.

Right - the regular VSL is not covered by insurance for anyone, as far as I've heard, because it's considered over-the-counter. The DS says on the box "by prescription only" - so, yes, it's covered for me, too (although I'm paying 120 copay for a 3 month supply.)

I'm sorry he's having symptoms again!!

Are you looking for feedback on Imuran? I might suggest starting a new post with that in the title. Some folks here have used it, and you'll get more responses if you start a new thread with "Imuran" to catch their eye....

Hang in there! My son was 13 when diagnosed; I feel for you.
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Age 55. Diagnosed UP 1983, UC 1986
Asacol - 16 pills/day,
Rowasa and Canasa occasionally
Metamucil - 2 doses/day
VSL#3DS 2 x daily, Multivitamin, Calcium and D
homemade yogurt each day
doing well!
Son, 17, dx pancolitis 2007, in remission

MotherofTeenwithNoUC
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 3/28/2011 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Songlady.   Does anyone know if the VSL#3 DS is equivalent to double the normal VSL?  For instance,  taking one Asacol 800mg HD is not equivalent to taking 2 Asacol 400mg.   My doctor prescribed the VSL#3 regular strength for my son, but the insurance wouldnt cover it.   The VLS#3 DS (double strength) is covered but I am not sure if taking half the double strength twice a day is the same as taking 2 packets of the regular strength per day.   My son started having some problems again when he started the VSL#3 DS and I wondering if it is too much for him. His Dr told me to call the pharmaceutical company to confirm it was equivalent.    His GI didnt even know that they made the DS and couldnt find it on the VLS#3 website.   He is a well know pediatric GI in the area, and when he told me that he didnt even know that they made a DS strength, I started to worry.   I went on the website and couldnt find it either.   Yet the pharmacy filled the prescription for it.  
 
Thanks for your input.
 
Dr increased Prednisone another 5mg a day (was being weaned off)
Asacol 800mg HD (6 tablets a day)
Poly-iron 2x day
VSL#3 2xday

songlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3252
   Posted 3/29/2011 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
The DS is exactly twice what's in ther egular packet. The regular packets are 450 billion per, and the DS packets are 900 billion per. So 1/2 packet of DS is equivalent to one packet of regular.

My son's pedi GI has been using it for years. It is curious that it's not on their website any more, though - I've noticed that too.
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Age 55. Diagnosed UP 1983, UC 1986
Asacol - 16 pills/day,
Rowasa and Canasa occasionally
Metamucil - 2 doses/day
VSL#3DS 2 x daily, Multivitamin, Calcium and D
homemade yogurt each day
doing well!
Son, 17, dx pancolitis 2007, in remission
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