Can't afford meds!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I really need to rant... 
After I was released from the hospital last week, I was put on Asacol.  Even though it worked for a day and a 1/2, I had to go off of it because I couldn't breathe.  I had the doctor call in another prescription  (can't remember the name).  I went to go pick it up yestereday and they wanted $45 after insurance!  I'm sorry, but I am just a college student!!  At that rate, I will be dead broke and starving by next month.  I refuse to pay that much money for something when, chances are, I probably will get one of the serious side effects and have to discontinue. When I called and left a message for my doctor to call me and possibly prescribe something affordable, I never got a reply...and I called yesterday.  I am just utterly disgusted with all the doctors I have dealt with in the past 3 weeks, and at this point, I don't really care if I have meds or not...  poor attitude, I know.
thanks for listening..
Female- almost 21!
Diagnosed 9/1/08

mild UC- left sided
Meds:  Rowasa 4g
Asacol 400 mg two 3 times/day
Hyoscyamine .125mg every 4 hrs
Percocet/ Vicodin as needed


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 9/16/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hamley, don't give up on your meds because of cost. See if your doctor can give you samples of what you're supposed to try next. Since you didn't get a reply, call again first thing in the morning. Be your own best advocate. And believe me, $45 after insurance could be a lot worse. I don't have prescription coverage, and I've paid $330 for a month's worth of ONE prescription. Ouch!

Remember also, there are programs to help cover the cost of the medications, and some of the companies will give you discounts or free samples.

Take care,
40 years old and female
Dx ulcerative proctitis, 3-5 cm, June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous) and still flaring
UNTIL 9/4/08: Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly, 25 mg hydrocortisone suppositories in a.m.
CURRENTLY: Proctofoam at bedtime
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg (or more) and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Recently started probiotic (Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra) and acupuncture
Osteopenia (and I haven't even taken steroids!)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to get my script of Asacol last week and I dont have insurance at all and it would have been over $520....needless to say, i am without it :(
22 years old
Diagnosed with UC June 2005 at age 19
Just graduated from Virginia Tech but unemployed because current flare has left me out of commission
Have taken: Cortifoam, Asacol, Dicyclomine, Prednisone, Sulfasalazine, Cipro, Flagyl, Codine, Hydrocodone, Roxicodone, Canasa, Zoloft, Probiotics (recent), Aloe Vera Juice

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I've got insurance, and I can afford my meds with or without it, but you better believe that when I'm at the GI's office for my 3 month check I get all the free meds I can......usually about $400 worth of Entocort yeah

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hamley - tell your doc that before you buy a new med you want to make sure you are not allergic. He/She should give you free samples for at least a couple weeks worth. If the amount you paid was your copay will it matter what drug you are put on? Very few drugs without insurance would be less than that price. Are there lower copays for non name brand drugs? I guess one of the biggest annoyances about having a chronic illness is that we have to re-organize our priorities. I know way more of our budget (I am also a student) goes to my medication than I would like. Could you pick up a work study job or a part time job to help you out?

Finally, most of the big insurance companies offer a mail order option. Mine is $50 for a three month supply of Pentasa. My copay would be $25 per month if it was non-maintenence and $70/month if maintenence and I refused mail order. If you could get a three month supply for $80 (usually the price of a 2 month regular copay) than it might be worth looking into.
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
please stay on your meds, you will only be hurting yourself. I put myself through college and I worked 3 jobs and I know how tough it is, I have lived week to week and gone to the grocery store w/$6 for me and my cats and had to make it last a week. Keep on working hard, you can do it!

Talk to your Doc about sulfasalazine or azulfadine, both of those should be pretty cheap.
Beth, 32 ~ hoping to taper pred successfully, wish me luck!
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 5mg 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 300mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!

Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 9/17/2008 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Are you joking??? You ought to consider yourself lucky to even have insurance! $45.00 is a very small co-pay. The one time I had to pay out of pocket for a month of Asacol, it was about $375.00. I realize you're living independently, but can't your folks help you out with medical costs? Or the mail-order insurance option is great too- you get 3 months supply for the price of 1 month.
Just be glad you're not on remicade if you're concerned about cost.
diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Fiber supplement

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/17/2008 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   

You might wantto check with your college about help paying for meds. When I was at a university, they had a student health plan that helped with medication costs. I know the trial and error method of finding the right med is frustrating, but it the best way to find what will work for you. You gained a lot of knowledge from trying the Asacol. Is there a way you can pick up partial prescriptions? That way it won't cost you as much if something is obviously not working after a couple of days. And once you find something that works, look into mail-order and 90 day supplies. When I was on Asacol, it was $45 a month from a local pharmacy, but only $60 for three months through my mail-order place.

Stick with the meds though. UC is tough to get under control without meds, but once you get things settled down, you can decide on whether or not to continue with the prescripts. Right now I'm spending so much on doc appts, meds and supplements that I have very little extra cash for anything else, but I look at it as an investment in my health, and someday that investment will pay off.

Keep the faith, and feel free to rant here anytime. That is what we're here for!
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Prednisone 30mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 246
   Posted 9/17/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe see if they have a generic brand...also, I'm on generic Colazal and I think Colazal is the same type of med as Colozal might be another option if the Asacol is too expensive...of course will need to work this through your GI

- 30 y/o male residing in Northern Virginia living a fairly "normal" life at the moment
- Currently in remission
- Pancolitis since April, 2006
- Small fistula and anemic at times 
- 4 Colazal/day, multivitamin, Fish oil and Primal Defense Probiotics 2x/day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 9/17/2008 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
It's wrong that your doctor has not responded. Probably doesn't appreciate that all these drugs are so expensive. $45 is a pretty good price, but not for a student!
If you try a safety net clinic (health department or faith-based clinic, for example), they will know how to work with the drug companies to get the drugs for what you can afford. All the drug companies have these programs.

I'm surprised the Asacol affected your breathing, and I wonder if it was something else and you should give the asacol a little more time. But I'm not a doctor!
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently tapering OFF prednisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic, DGL (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
Sept: Mild case of thrush in throat, prescribed antifungal mouthwash.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 9/18/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Keep calling your doctor until he responds! You aren't going to get better if you don't take meds.

Maybe you can call your insurance and ask what the co-pays for different 5ASA's (Asacol, Lialda, Colazal, sulfalazine, and their generics) would be, and then have your doctor write you a prescription for the cheapest one.
Female, Age 19
9 Asacol, Rowasa1000 mg Canasa, Proctofoam, Rifaximin 2/day
Digestive Advantage (Crohn's & Colitis)1 Florastor, 50 mg 6MP,1 Primadophilus reuteri, Remicade (3 infusions), 2.4 g Lialda, 1 Forvia, 6 Colazal/day, 1 Anucort

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/18/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Check with the drug company they may a special promotion. I had 6 months of free (they paid up to $100 toward full amount or copay) for Colazol. Many companies are offering such plans. They know their meds are expensive.

Please don't stop taking your meds. Take it from experience. I did that once and ended up in the hospital for a week. It's not worth it.
Left sided (40cm) Diagnosed 10/02
Colazal 3 pills/3xday
Azathioprine 75 mg
Calcium Supplement
Occasional Immodium

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