help-I cant Afford UC and cant get off Rowasa!

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Sherman Tank
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/11/2011 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone else have this problem??
The horrid cycle of trying to make money leads to stress means flare-up which begets doctor visits begets doc bills begets MORE stress which leads to MORE doc bills and more flareing. lol!
I was with Kaiser but my discount insurance plan ended and I would have had to pay 800 for the plan for people with preexisiting conditions.
So my husband and I had to switch to his bad work plan that has a big deductible. The stress of all this caused a nice sized flare up. Now I owe the doctor/hospital about 500 and still cant afford the 2000 to do the colonoscopy. And now I found out refilling my Rowasa prescription will cost a few hundred p/month!
AND it seems like I get more info here on healing well and on-line then my doctor even knows.
I need to get off the Rowasa because a. I cant afford it, and b. I still get little flares on it and need to be OFF it to treat them with the Rowasa or it won't work. but when I tapper my internal hemmies seem to start up again. perhaps there is a cheaper way to treat the hemmies from an herbalist?
Thanks for reading my rant.
I hope you all feel better!!
Diagnosed proctosigmoiditis/ UC 2004 with a side of IBS, misdiagnosed internal hemmies since I was 12!
fare up after birth of each son (04, 07). Been on steroids/Prednison-kept me good for a year. tried acupuncture 1 year(good 4 mood),
tried Homepathy 2 yrs (bleh), tried Asacol 4 years but still had flares. Rowasa as needed.
on Boswellia, fish oil, probiotics, Rowasa 1Xday, simple diet

Cadillac Lover
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/11/2011 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I use perrigo mesalamine enemas. I think its like $35 before deductible for a months supply.
Male. 31. Tattoo Artist. Diagnosed with UC summer of 08.
Diagnosed with severe uc 1-3-11 from 2nd cscope.
Pred 20mg tapering, 6mp 100mg.
AsacolHD (2 @3 x a day).
Canasa every or every other night.
Slippery elm, vitamin D, wheat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free(most of the time), LOTS of water.
Turmeric powder sprinkled over food.

imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 11/11/2011 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think you should quit Rowasa if its helping you. Have you looked into ordering it from Canada? They call it different names and you should search for it as "Canada mesalamine enema". See if it will be affordable to you. Mesalamine enema would be the last med I'd drop.

Good luck.
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of UC with no remission ever
Jan 2010 began SpecCarbDiet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices,)
Gluten-free=bleeding stopped in 3 days, 95% remission in 5.5 months on SCD
SCDiet: Gluten/grain-free, starch-free, low carb, honey as sweetener
(9)Balsalazide+(6)Citrucel, mesalamine enema as needed
Spinach & sunflower seeds daily, (1) VSL#3 nightly

hateuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1806
   Posted 11/11/2011 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
It is a vicious cycle, isn't it.  I also need to use the Rowasa regularly and the thought process is that you should stay on rectal meds always to minimize flares.  I can't even really taper or I start to have some symptoms.  A few things.... I think Rowasa may have a program to help w/ payment...check on their website to see.  I never used it, but I thought they used to have it at least.  Your Dr. would have to fill out some paperwork.  I don't know though, if it would be ongoing help or just a couple of boxes.  
 
Another thing to look into...trying Canasa supps (they are also $) but again, may have help to pay on their site.  Finally although I try to minimize use the best I can....I sometimes need Anucort (steroid supps)  THey are not very expensive but they are not really reccommended as a maintenance drug either.  I guess to get you out of a jam and they would also be helpful for your hemmies.  Other than that, I can't think of anything else.  I would start investigating those web sites and even calling the companies to see what kind of help you can get.  Good luck and let us know how you make out.

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 10478
   Posted 11/11/2011 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I deal with the same awful cycle. The more I work, the faster my UC gets out of control. The less I work, the less I am able to afford healthcare. It's terrible.

When I wasn't able to afford medication in the US, I ordered from Canada. It is much less expensive there.
 
Canasa has a patient assistance program that brings one box a month to $20. It isn't as effective for extensive inflammation but if you're dealing with rectal inflammation, it may be helpful. There is a link to the program in the resources thread at the top of the forum.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (3200mg) + 6mp (50mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

Sherman Tank
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/11/2011 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
wow! This is all awesome info! Thanks for your suggestions. I guess I need to do some research now...
Diagnosed proctosigmoiditis/ UC 2004 with a side of IBS, misdiagnosed internal hemmies since I was 12!
fare up after birth of each son (04, 07). Been on steroids/Prednison-kept me good for a year. tried acupuncture 1 year(good 4 mood),
tried Homepathy 2 yrs (bleh), tried Asacol 4 years but still had flares. Rowasa as needed.
on Boswellia, fish oil, probiotics, Rowasa 1Xday, simple diet

Sherman Tank
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/11/2011 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
what is the difference between Canasa and Rowasa? I do take the Perrigo mesalamine Enemas- which is, I guess, the generic Rowasa. But I cant find any great deals on Rowasa- it is a bit less from Canada. Canasa seems much friendlier.
Cadillac Lover- I think your insurance MUST be covering you to be able to get them for 35. Sounds like a co-pay.
Thanks!
-Sherman Tank

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 7641
   Posted 11/11/2011 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
My co-pay for generic mesalamine is $5. It was my favorite medicine before my GI put me on generic sulfazine. Since I hardly have need for the mesalamine anymore, the sulfazine became my favorite, especially in comparison to the $$$ Pentasa. Now I'm off Pentasa and on a 3rd generic, this time colazal. I'm very happy to say that my total pharmacy bill this month will be $15 for the prescriptions, and another $15 for the vitamins and supplements. I hope Sherman that you can use generics also.
*******************
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day)Colazal (9 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.

FromChaos
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 11/11/2011 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
The generic Rowasa is $4 at Walmart
UC left sided since 1996
Asacol 400 mg 16 tabs daily
Rowasa just added after colonoscopy
probiotics iron fish oil L-Glutamine
no soy no artificial sweetners
low carb

"stay positive and love your life"
311

Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2060
   Posted 11/11/2011 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I use to get the Rowasa for free when I had financial hardship. Got 6 boxes at a time delivered right to my doctors office.

Sherman Tank
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/11/2011 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
but I think that the 35 and 4 and 4 dollar amounts are all co-pays. The meds cost 4 hundred something and then your insurance covers MOST of the rest. I don't have a co=pay, I have a deductible of 3,000 (after I cover the 3000 everything is free). Meanwhile I get a discount through med-co that brings the cost down to a 'mere' 150 a month- about the same as the Canada costs (it doesn't seem to matter where I buy it.). Which I think I am stuck with. :-( So I will get one months and tapper it off I guess.

FromChaos- why 'no soy' (in your tag line)- are you allergic? I do no dairy, no artificial anything if I can help it, minimal gluten, minimal caffine/sugar and a completely non-inflamatory diet when Im flaring, but I've never heard of soy being an issue.
Diagnosed proctosigmoiditis/ UC 2004 with a side of IBS, misdiagnosed internal hemmies since I was 12!
fare up after birth of each son (04, 07). Been on steroids/Prednison-kept me good for a year. tried acupuncture 1 year(good 4 mood),
tried Homepathy 2 yrs (bleh), tried Asacol 4 years but still had flares. Rowasa as needed.
on Boswellia, fish oil, probiotics, Rowasa 1Xday, simple diet

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 7641
   Posted 11/11/2011 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Does your job offer a flexible spending account for medical? It's pre-tax money that you can have withheld from your paycheck. Set one up for $3000, then you'll have a built-in savings plan, save some $$ on your federal income tax and be able to pay for meds out of that fund until you meet your deductible.

I set ours up for $5000 every year, and we have always run through it by July. I have a husband and two kids, and they're all healthy, so it's all me. GI visits, meds, scopes whatever - gone by July.

Once my pharmacist did me wrong and I was so, so mad - I calculated how much $$$ I'd spent in his store and figured I was probably one of their "anchor tenants." Ha.
*******************
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day)Colazal (9 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.

Sherman Tank
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/11/2011 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Kazbern- yes, thanks, that is what we have as well- an HSA. Only, we just started it so there's only 300 in there. Remind me not to flair until its built up a bit! lol ;-)
Diagnosed proctosigmoiditis/ UC 2004 with a side of IBS, misdiagnosed internal hemmies since I was 12!
fare up after birth of each son (04, 07). Been on steroids/Prednison-kept me good for a year. tried acupuncture 1 year(good 4 mood),
tried Homepathy 2 yrs (bleh), tried Asacol 4 years but still had flares. Rowasa as needed.
on Boswellia, fish oil, probiotics, Rowasa 1Xday, simple diet

AZYooper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1170
   Posted 11/11/2011 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Not sure if it is just my mailorder drug company or my insurance company but generic 4g mesalamine enemas were over $10 for just one. Or $300+ a month

MmeMulot
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/11/2011 9:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Yikes, that's awful, AZYooper! What an insane cost. I don't know what I would do if mine cost that much -- it's my primary medicine for my UP. There is no way it should be that much. smhair
Ulcerative proctitis, diagnosed about 1998
Rowasa nightly, Canasa suppository in morning
Taken off Asacol under suspicion it caused low white-cell count
Fish oil, magnesium, multivitamin, Align probiotics
Allergies to dust, molds, penicillin, some trees and grasses, and cats (but I still have three!)
Occasional migraines
Pescetarian (eat fish but no other meat)

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1994
   Posted 11/11/2011 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Check goodrx.com and bidrx.com If any of them of any use to you, to either find cheap medication locally or to force local pharmacies to bid for your Rx.

I feel your pain. I am also losing my Rx coverage next year so I found a decent price using goodRx.com locally ( will go to 3 pharmacies to fill up 3 Rxs, thanks to greedy Oxford)
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily,
Imuran, 100mg + 50mg
Vit. B12, 1mg
Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily
Fish oil 1200mg daily
Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1994
   Posted 11/11/2011 10:18 PM (GMT -7)   
FromChaos said...
The generic Rowasa is $4 at Walmart


I don't find it in that list (http://medicationfinder.walmart.com/mapd/MedicationFinder.jsp)

Carlie
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 412
   Posted 11/13/2011 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I couldnt afford the rowasa either it was 279 AFTER insurance... my doc changed my prescription to 100mg
hydrocortisone 60ml enema's. I dont know if they are as good or not, 2 weeks after I started he pulled me
off and put me on 40mg prednisone.
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