Humira $ vs. Remicade $

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Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3055
   Posted 1/6/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone! Just thought you may be interested in this info- as we all know, Remicade is usually from $10,000-$12,000 per infusion. I just checked my Humira script- I do have a copay with every order (once a month, 2 pens per order). This is after the initial Starter kit, which has 6 pens. But my copay is $30 per script, the insurance pays $4791.00 per script. So.... makes you wonder why so many insurers insist that we try Remicade first, when the cost is SO much higher!!!!! Just another prob with America's health care system/insurance companies. But, the Humira is scheduled to arrive today, & the home nurse is coming out tomorrow to show me how to use it. Yay!!!!!:-)
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- from 4/07 thru 1/10
Humira- started 1/10
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics & fiber supplement
 
 
 


Scrap Girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 1/6/2010 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm looking forward to eventually switching to Humira since Remicade isn't really working that well for me anymore. I won't have to have my husband take off work for my infusions anymore and it will be cheaper for me, too because I won't have to pay the hospital the infusion costs, which is like $80 per time. I saw on Abbott's website that you can knock your Humira co-pay down to $5. A lot of drug companies now pay for part or even all of co-payments if you just check the website. They really don't make their money off the co-payment anyways and they want you to keep taking their drugs. I think most GI's start UC'ers off with Remicade because there have been more proven results with UC patients and since it's the only one currently approved for UC.
Diagnosed with UC in Feb. 2005
 
Colazal (9 a day)
Folic Acid
Biotin
Calcium
Remicade


Scrap Girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 1/6/2010 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh, and let us know how it goes. Good lucK!
Diagnosed with UC in Feb. 2005
 
Colazal (9 a day)
Folic Acid
Biotin
Calcium
Remicade


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3055
   Posted 1/6/2010 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I will let you know how it goes! You're totally right about the Abbott pharmaceutical help, but... where I live, in MA, they can't offer that copay help! Have you asked your GI about switching over to Humira yet? What does he/she think? I'm looking forward to it- I was so hesitant to try it, cause it seemed like such a last resort... but, it is what it is.
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- from 4/07 thru 1/10
Humira- started 1/10
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics & fiber supplement
 
 
 


Scrap Girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 1/6/2010 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I actually just saw my GI yesterday. Right now I'm pretty sure my inflammation is just in the rectum area, which is bizarre because it's normally throughout the colon. I had a Colonoscopy about five months ago. My life isn't miserable right now but the mornings and evenings are a little rough - lots of mucous, urgency and some blood. Added rectal meds several months ago but they don't seem to be helping at all. And I can't tell any difference after my infusions so I don't know if the Remicade doesn't work for my anymore or if I wasn't on it would my flare be much worse??? Don't know. So our game plan right now is to continue using the rectal meds and add liquid immodium, twice a day to see if I can slow things down and try to heal down there. I've used it before but just kind of off and on. I go back in a month and if I'm not doing better he's going to do a sigmoid and likely switch me to Humira. My husband is changing jobs soon and I don't want to go through the hassle of getting approved twice - although I was approved for it a couple of years ago. I'm willing to try anything at this point. Hope it works for you.
Diagnosed with UC in Feb. 2005
 
Colazal (9 a day)
Folic Acid
Biotin
Calcium
Remicade


Supa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 748
   Posted 1/6/2010 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
How often are the infusions? I have heard that there are higher costs involved with Remicade because of the method of delivery.

But still, at over $2000 per infection, Humira is hardly a cheap option! I know people who use it or have used it for other conditions (RA and psoriasis) who have had to do weekly injections, which then doubles the cost.

Plus Humira isn't FDA approved for UC right now. I would think insurers have a certain protocol for meds that are not approved like this.
Laura
34 years old, stay at home mom of 2 girls, ages 4 and 3
Diagnosed in March 2007, symptoms started Dec. 2006
Currently on:
Asacol 6pills/day
Biweekly injections for Humira clinical trial-perfection, it is not-but it helps
Back on Canasa nightly, hoping to be able to taper off at some point.
Also take multivitamins, milk thistle, VSL#3 capsules (6 daily right now), MegaZyme, cranberry and PepZin daily. P-seed powder is helping (1t. twice daily)


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3055
   Posted 1/6/2010 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
well, you figure you do a loading dose of 6 pens throut 2 weeks, then one pen every 2 weeks- so.... 32 pens per year??? And estimate $2000 per pen, there's a total of around roughly $65,000 per year. And Remicade, the basic dose of every 8 weeks comes out to about 7 infusions per year, if you add in the loading doses of 3 infusion, you get app. 10 per year. Figure around $10,000 per infusion, the total is $100,000. Pretty big difference. I know there's an  insurance protocol re. meds that are unapporved by the FDA for the specific condition you want to use it for- hence the prior authorizations & pre-approvals both these meds require. But, many people have been denied Humira based on FDA approval alone, regardless of what their doctors recommend. So, strictly from a cost effective standpoint it seems a little ridiculous. So personally, the Humira will run me about $1000 per year, due to copays, whereas I paid absolutely nothing for the past 3 years of Remicade infusions. For me, financially, I'd be better off sticking with Remicade! Scrapgirl, I've been the same- no change at all after my infusions. Maybe some small improvements for a week or 10 days. My GI & myslef figured the Remicade was doing *something*, but not much. And not enough to justify continuing with it.
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- from 4/07 thru 1/10
Humira- started 1/10
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics & fiber supplement
 
 
 


Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5449
   Posted 1/6/2010 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
     Ten grand per infusion of Remicade?  I know here in Jersey, if you get your infusion in the hospital it is ten grand but where I receive it, in a surgical center where my doctor has his office, it costs five grand, go figure.
     Did the Remicade just stop working for you or did you have some bad effects from it?
     Right now I am battling some bug, achiness, low grade fever, sinus congestion.  My third infusion, I guess the final loading dose, was on Thursday.  She gave me too much Benedryl and it made me really feel like crap.
 
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008 for ten days.
Remission Nov 08 thru May of 09.
Flare May of 09 thru Aug of 09.  Very short remission.  Flared again Nov 1st.  First infusion of Remicade Nov 18th.  Taken off the 6MP,  still on Colazal, 30 mgm of prednisone, cort suppository every other night. Calcium, probiotic, vitamin with iron, benicar for high blood pressure. Flaxseed oil capsule.  Great improvement with first Remi infusion...hope and pray it continues.  Ambien CR for sleep.


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2838
   Posted 1/6/2010 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I can't wait until Humira is approved, because it would be so much more convenient.

Yeah, it's pretty dumb that they won't cover it. I think my GI keeps trying with each patient who wants it. But she also observes that Remicade works better than Humira.

At my doc's infusion center, the infusions are $7K+, insurance discount reduces to $3K+. This first year I ended up paying about $400 each until I reached my out-of-pocket max.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985. 
Asacol maintenance for 20+ years; Prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
Food sensitivity test by Naturopath showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances, helped some. 
Remicade started April 2009 (Humira denied) and doing great~ learning what normal is~ wow

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