maintenance after treatment with combo therapy

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ppm guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1098
   Posted 5/7/2010 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
hi, i am new here,    last year i was treated with combo therapy(interferon+ribavirin).my doctor pulled me off treatment after 48mos. at that time i had one month supply left over. I cleared the virus,but it returned after alt rose to 86. At that time i took upon myself to take a single injection and 2 days of pills . My next bloodwork came back normal(everything).I notified my dr. and asked if i could take maintenance injections every 3mos. He told me the HMO doesnt allow this . Does not make sense me.  anybody know of  any reason  why .   ppm guy                                                      

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 5/7/2010 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield, top of the line insurance (over $800 a month) and they said the interferon/ribavirin treatment was "experimental." My hepatologist insisted and they then approved it. Insurance companies try to do (pay) the minimum possible. I'm sure their excuse will be that the treatment didn't work the first time, so that's it. Done. Why not wait and see what your next bloodwork results are. Maybe that extra dose did the trick. If not, they may make you wait for another go round with the treatment. A lot of people have done it more than once. Good luck. **David**

ppm guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1098
   Posted 5/7/2010 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
hi David, i have Kaiser Perm.(cheap ins.)I also agree with your perspective. I wonder if the fda calls it experimental. Anyway i believe that maintenance injections can stop the progression of hep C . Just think of the money they can save on transplants, and cirrosis care. oh well i was  diagnosed 20 years ago and am now stage 3. I need to slow this down    ppm guy

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/10/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, PPM guy, and welcome to the forum.  There is no recognized "maintenance therapy" for hep C; therefore, insurance is not going to pay.  BTW, did you mean 48 WEEKS...not MONTHS?  I assume you did.  Anyway, about half the people who finish treatment relapse.  If I were you, rather than repeat the same treatment, I would wait until Jan. of next year, when a 3rd drug (Telaprevir) is being added to the existing combo.  Early data is showing 70% clearing the virus.  Also, it only has to be taken for 24 weeks, but they can tell within a month or so if it is going to work for you.  This is what I am waiting for.


Forum moderator - Hepatitis
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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