Article: The newest generation of drugs: Who can afford them?

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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 8/17/2008 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
There was a very interesting article today in the Seattle times regarding the latest generation of drugs (like Remicade).

The newest generation of drugs: Who can afford them?

Costs of expensive biotech "specialty" drugs may overwhelm an increasing number of patients and employers, and raise questions about the meaning of "insurance."

By Carol M. Ostrom

Do you guys have any idea how we as consumers can tackle this issue? Do we write to our state insurance commissioners? The FDA?
Age: 48
location: Seattle, Wa
currently in small flare, tail end of colon
Diagnosed with UC in June 2006
Medications: Asacol 3 pills 3 x/day, Cortifoam at bedtime, Canansa in the morning
No. of colonoscopies: 1
Originally diagnosed with moderate UC, pancolitis

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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 8/18/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
This is really scary! I can't imagine how I would pay for my meds, especially Remicade, if I had to pay more than I do now.

I find it backwards that those of us that need the meds to stay healthy, and because of that, really watch our lifestyles - we possibly eat better, we have routine screenings that would catch other problems early on, etc - so maybe it evens out?!!? I don't know! I just find it very scary to think about what I would do without the great insurance that I have.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia (hip and spine) diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Remission?!?!?
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Remicade: 1st infusion 06/17/08:  Next infusion: 10/07/08
Last Prednisone dose:  7/15/08
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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/18/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   

I have health insurance through a private provider. (Meaning I pay for it monthy myself). I (knock on wood) haven't had a claim in a long while, so it came as quite a shock, when i found out  the cost of my meds.

I'm on Lialda (4 pills a day) so for a month supply 120 pills, I'm paying $60.00. Which I guess sounds good when you consider that w/o insurance it would have cost over $600!!! Then I was just put on Entocort EC, which as been around longer that Lialda so I thought it would be cheeper. Uhh, not so much. For a one month suppy of 90 pills (my dose is 3 a day) I had to pay out a $30.00 co-pay because the cost of the meds were again over $600.00!!  These will be monthly bills, $7.00 a day for meds if you do the math. And hopefully my insurace will continue to cover these meds as time goes on. I could get on my political soap box here, but I'll save it for election day. smilewinkgrin   

Dx with U.C. August 2008
Meds: Lialda (4)1.2gm tablets
Entocort EC (3)3mg/24hr capsules

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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/18/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   

I suppose as consumers, we'd each have to decide what action we want taken. None of the choices are appealing to me:

1. Have the government subsidize the prescription drugs or the whole healthcare system, and accept that our access to some drugs may disappear because they're not "cost effective."

2. Put price controls on the pharmaceutical companies, and watch as they decrease the expensive research required to develop new and better drugs.

3. Government buys drugs in bulk and passes the savings on to the consumer and insurer. (See #1).

4. Require employers to offer low-cost comprehensive insurance which covers prescripiton drugs to employees and their dependents. What about those who aren't employed? What about mom and pop businesses that can't afford to do this and stay in business.


My sense is that a solution would have to combine a lot of different strategies, and would also be accompanied by a lot of different problems. We have to do something, I just don't know what.


Judy - Southern US 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

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