Unaffordable prescription drug

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sawhorse
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Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sawhorse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 am

After years spent trying more affordable drugs (if you count $1200 a month as affordable), I'm left with no treatment options other than a drug that costs $1000 per WEEK. It would be on top of other drugs that are already costing me over $1000 a month.

My insurance won't cover it understandably, and the drug company's patient assistance program has a cap of $850 discount per month - $850 discount, not price. Ha!

Is there anything I can do?

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HueyLD
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by HueyLD » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:09 am

Canadian pharmacies?

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:11 am

Indian pharmacies generics are even cheaper.

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flossy21
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by flossy21 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:14 am

I'd look into Canadian Pharmacy options.

This was discussed previously in this thread -- viewtopic.php?t=231683

InMyDreams
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by InMyDreams » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:15 am

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 am
After years spent trying more affordable drugs (if you count $1200 a month as affordable), I'm left with no treatment options other than a drug that costs $1000 per WEEK. It would be on top of other drugs that are already costing me over $1000 a month.

My insurance won't cover it understandably, and the drug company's patient assistance program has a cap of $850 discount per month - $850 discount, not price. Ha!

Is there anything I can do?
Is this insurance or is it a government plan i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, or ?? It makes a difference on options.
If you're treatment is medically necessary, and you only have this as an option, why won't the insurance company pay? You may need to go thru an appeals process. You might try negotiating with the insurance company to pay a portion, and you assume the other portion.

You can try googling something like co-pay assistance.

Ask your doctor if s/he knows of a good medical social worker.

There are reimbursement specialists for hire. They work for you to bring pressure on the insurance company.

Gofundme.

Foreign Travel - I think it's not legal to ship drugs into the country, but you may travel to a foreign country and bring back a ?6 month supply

Jacobkg
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by Jacobkg » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:21 am

You mentioned that your insurance won't cover the drug "understandably". I don't think it is obvious they wouldn't cover it. If there is no generic alternative and this medication is required to treat a serious condition diagnosed by a medical professional then I don't see why insurance can just refuse to cover it.

fposte
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by fposte » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:53 am

Jacobkg wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:21 am
You mentioned that your insurance won't cover the drug "understandably". I don't think it is obvious they wouldn't cover it. If there is no generic alternative and this medication is required to treat a serious condition diagnosed by a medical professional then I don't see why insurance can just refuse to cover it.
Because nothing requires them to cover something just because it exists.

Here are some guidelines about seeking a drug exception with your insurer and appealing if one isn't received.

downshiftme
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by downshiftme » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:01 pm

I found goodrx.com was able to point me to alternative sources for lower cost prescriptions. Depends on the specific drug how successful they are.

carolinaman
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by carolinaman » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:05 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:09 am
Canadian pharmacies?
I too have used Canadian pharmacies. You can save a lot of money but you need to be careful if you decide to do this. Some are very credible whereas others are not.

I used onlinecanadianpharmacy.com. My prescription was filled in Canada. Most of these prescriptions are filled offshore but that was deal breaker for me. I have been satisfied with this company in every respect.

There is an association for supposed reputable online Canadian pharmacies, cipa.com. In my vetting of a few Canadian pharmacies, I found one whose owner had been indicted and found guilty for shipping fraudulent cancer drugs to US patients. He lost his pharmacy license for a few months but his company remained on the list of "reputable" pharmacies. I would have given up considering this route after discovering this but the pharmacy I used was recommended by several bogleheads whom I considered very credible.

sawhorse
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sawhorse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:45 pm

The insurance company has strict guidelines for covering this drug, and I don't meet them, so I was denied. My use would be off label although there are published papers demonstrating efficacy for my condition. Would it be worth sending those papers to the insurance company? I suspect it's off label because it's a rare condition, so the manufacturer didn't want to go through the approval process for a rare condition.

It's an injected biologic, so no generic version.

The Canadian pharmacy I have used previously doesn't carry it, and the other online Canadian pharmacies I've checked don't either.

The best price on Goodrx is $980.28 for a week's supply.

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Mlm
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by Mlm » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:53 pm

Has your Doctor taken this fully through the appeals process including a third party review? He should be able to prove your case that this drug is your only available option.
Reality has a way of catching up with you

fposte
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by fposte » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:04 pm

I would formally request an exception and include any paperwork as part of that request. I don't think absent that request they're going to look at the matter again.

This PDF has some interesting information about handling refusal to cover medications for off-label use under Part D; this page talks more about the role of drug compendia, which might be useful to you if your off-label uses are addressed there.

I would also check in your city, county, and state to see if there are organizations that assist health care consumers. They may have guidance or even mediators. (And if you haven't already, check with any national association devoted to the illness; they sometimes have crowdsourced knowledge that individuals don't.)

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:05 pm

Do other insurance companies cover it? If so, I'd look into getting different insurance.
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dm200
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:07 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 am
After years spent trying more affordable drugs (if you count $1200 a month as affordable), I'm left with no treatment options other than a drug that costs $1000 per WEEK. It would be on top of other drugs that are already costing me over $1000 a month.
My insurance won't cover it understandably, and the drug company's patient assistance program has a cap of $850 discount per month - $850 discount, not price. Ha!
Is there anything I can do?
Perhaps you have exhausted this path, but might there be Physicians who might have other alternatives?

DesertDiva
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by DesertDiva » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:21 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:07 pm
sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 am
After years spent trying more affordable drugs (if you count $1200 a month as affordable), I'm left with no treatment options other than a drug that costs $1000 per WEEK. It would be on top of other drugs that are already costing me over $1000 a month.
My insurance won't cover it understandably, and the drug company's patient assistance program has a cap of $850 discount per month - $850 discount, not price. Ha!
Is there anything I can do?
Perhaps you have exhausted this path, but might there be Physicians who might have other alternatives?
I feel your pain - DH needs to be on blood thinners for the rest of his life due to a life-threatening genetic blood disorder. He used to take Lovenox injections ($6K per month if we didn't have insurance) until the point where our insurance company decided to not pay for it anymore. They wanted him to switch to a generic, but he needed it DAW (dispensed as written) as he had a serious allergic reaction to the generic. After going back to his doctor, he was able to switch to a different, less costly med so that the insurance company would continue coverage. I was at the point where I was planning trips to Canada or Mexico to find the same formulation at non-US prices. It was a stressful situation and am glad it worked out.

My lesson learned: doctors often prescribe meds based on clinical decisions and without consideration to cost. I would consult with the prescribing physician for alternatives.

HongKonger
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by HongKonger » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:30 pm

Injectable biologics are the only thing left for me. US$11,000 every 3 months. Can't get it on state healthcare. Can't afford it. No biosimilar for another 10 years. My choices are suffer or do chemo (I choose to suffer).

If yours is a monthly, there should be biosimilars now available in Europe.

sawhorse
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sawhorse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:40 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:05 pm
Do other insurance companies cover it? If so, I'd look into getting different insurance.
How would I find out?
dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:07 pm
Perhaps you have exhausted this path, but might there be Physicians who might have other alternatives?
I saw a physician in my old location and revisited him for a second opinion last year. My current and former physicians laid out paths of treatment options that were practically identical. That's not to say a third opinion would be the same. Good idea, I'll look into it.

Most research on it is coming out of Europe unfortunately, so I can't be in clinical trials. But I might be able to swallow the cost and the physical challenges of one trip to Europe to see a specialist there.
Mlm wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:53 pm
Has your Doctor taken this fully through the appeals process including a third party review? He should be able to prove your case that this drug is your only available option.
I don't know what the doctor did. I know she sent in a prior authorization request, and it was denied.

Would it be worth it to send the journal articles about the drug in relation to my condition to the insurance company?

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Mlm
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by Mlm » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:49 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:40 pm
Would it be worth it to send the journal articles about the drug in relation to my condition to the insurance company? The studies were done in the Netherlands, not the United States.
No, your physician should be doing an appeal for you. He/She needs to present your medical records as part of the process. What does your Dr. say?
Reality has a way of catching up with you

InMyDreams
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by InMyDreams » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:00 pm

I recently heard of a person who was denied a biologic injectable because the prescribing info did not include the increased frequency that the doctor was ordering.

The patient took it to the insurance appeals board, and either at that level or one more beyond that (can't remember which), an independent expert was brought in, who found literature to support the increased frequency. The patient received the increased dosing.

The local TV station's consumer affairs reporter might be able to help.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:08 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:40 pm
White Coat Investor wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:05 pm
Do other insurance companies cover it? If so, I'd look into getting different insurance.
How would I find out?
See what insurance policies are available in your area (check with a health insurance broker if you need to) and then ask them for their formularies.

I'm amazed how little knowledge there is about shopping for this major expense in most of our budgets. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one out here buying health insurance on the open market once a year. I know exactly what policies are available in my area to an individual purchaser.

Now if your employer is buying your health insurance for you, you might be up a creek without a paddle. But if you're buying it, at least make sure the policy you're buying covers the stuff you're using.
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Pajamas
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by Pajamas » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:20 pm

First thing would be to appeal the decision. Quite often all it takes to get something covered that is not usually covered is a letter of medical necessity. The appeal process should be clearly outlined in your member manual or subscriber contract or whatever they are calling it.

Another option, maybe a last resort, would be to go buy it in another country yourself. I was once on an expensive prescription med not available in generic form and the company that managed the prescriptions would sometimes fill it with the equivalent drug manufactured in and labeled for the U.K. If you look at labels, many of the prescription drugs you get in the U.S. are manufactured in other countries such as India, so there is no reason to avoid buying prescriptions from non-U.S. suppliers. A med that is $48k a year in the U.S. could be a small fraction of that in another country. It's shocking. You could travel and get the med from a reputable pharmacy yourself and get your teeth cleaned and new glasses and have a nice vacation and still save a bundle.

quantAndHold
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:43 pm

If your insurance is an individual plan, I would be looking at other insurance companies. If it’s a group plan, I would probably still be looking at other insurance companies.

ResearchMed
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:09 pm

What are the "downsides" of not taking the med?
(NOT asking for personal/medical situation - please continue reading...)

First, have your physician contact the insurer and explain the need, and why this is the only med/formulation/etc., that works, and try to get special approval. This *can* work, at least with some insurers, but does take some extra time/effort by physician.

But also emphasize (per question above) what the COSTS would be if drug is not approved, if this might help.
Would you need to be hospitalized? Estimated number of days/etc., per episode/per year, etc.?
Emergency room care? Ambulances?

It *might* turn out that once an appeals person (or even just an extra level of approval, without formal appeal) looks at "the numbers", they might decide to allow it, given it might not cost "more" in the longer term, and perhaps could save money.
Or, at least, taking the costs of not approving, it might not cost as much extra as it would seem, etc.

Good luck!

RM
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staythecourse
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by staythecourse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:15 pm

If it is that expensive why not just GO to Canada for a week vacation and buy enough for 6 months. Wash and repeat x2. Just call ahead and find out what the cost would be just to make sure the numbers play out.

Good luck.
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KnowNth
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by KnowNth » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:01 pm

prescription drugs are way cheaper in Canada.

sawhorse
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sawhorse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:15 pm
If it is that expensive why not just GO to Canada for a week vacation and buy enough for 6 months. Wash and repeat x2. Just call ahead and find out what the cost would be just to make sure the numbers play out.

Good luck.
Are you allowed to bring home 6 months at a time? I thought the allowed amount is lower.

Do they ever confiscate at customs? This is a daily injection, so traveling home with 180 vials and needles might seem suspicious.
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:09 pm
What are the "downsides" of not taking the med?
(NOT asking for personal/medical situation - please continue reading...)

First, have your physician contact the insurer and explain the need, and why this is the only med/formulation/etc., that works, and try to get special approval. This *can* work, at least with some insurers, but does take some extra time/effort by physician.

But also emphasize (per question above) what the COSTS would be if drug is not approved, if this might help.
Would you need to be hospitalized? Estimated number of days/etc., per episode/per year, etc.?
Emergency room care? Ambulances?

It *might* turn out that once an appeals person (or even just an extra level of approval, without formal appeal) looks at "the numbers", they might decide to allow it, given it might not cost "more" in the longer term, and perhaps could save money.
Or, at least, taking the costs of not approving, it might not cost as much extra as it would seem, etc.

Good luck!

RM
The downside of not taking it aren't of consequence to the insurance company. Basically it means continuing to be confined to my apartment the vast majority of the time, in pain, bodily function problems, unable to work. Basically how I've spent the last few years. In my 30s. It's not life or death, but this existence is so miserable and soul sucking, not to mention wallet sucking, that I can't go on like this. The insurance company isn't covering the cost of home nurse help either.
Last edited by sawhorse on Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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goodenyou
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by goodenyou » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:31 pm

How long do you plan to be on this expensive drug? If it is off label, maybe you can enroll in a study and be comped the medication. I would seek a second opinion by an expert at a reputable academic center familiar with the treatment options for your condition.
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sawhorse
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sawhorse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:36 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:31 pm
How long do you plan to be on this expensive drug? If it is off label, maybe you can enroll in a study and be comped the medication. I would seek a second opinion by an expert at a reputable academic center familiar with the treatment options for your condition.
I don't know how long I would be on it. In the studies, the symptoms came back when they stopped the drug.

The studies so far have all been in Europe so it's unlikely they would accept me for a clinical trial. The few experts on this condition are in Europe as well. I may try to travel to see them for a one time consultation.

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goodenyou
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by goodenyou » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:42 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:36 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:31 pm
How long do you plan to be on this expensive drug? If it is off label, maybe you can enroll in a study and be comped the medication. I would seek a second opinion by an expert at a reputable academic center familiar with the treatment options for your condition.
I don't know how long I would be on it. In the studies, the symptoms came back when they stopped the drug.

The studies so far have all been in Europe so it's unlikely they would accept me for a clinical trial. The few experts on this condition are in Europe as well. I may try to travel to see them for a one time consultation.

I would go to a world-class center in the US to discuss it with an expert. No doubt they will be familiar with options.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

sawhorse
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sawhorse » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:48 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:42 pm
I would go to a world-class center in the US to discuss it with an expert. No doubt they will be familiar with options.
I am going to one of the supposed top centers in the US. They are familiar with the options, and we've tried all the more affordable ones already. The only research on it is being conducted in Europe.

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fandango
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by fandango » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:56 pm

I know several people who are in "trials" and could not afford the drugs involved. After their doctor discussed with the "trial leader", they received the drugs a no cost.

These were cancer drugs at Emory University.

chessknt
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by chessknt » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:26 pm

These biologics may not be as cheap as everyone thinks I'm other countries. Some of these drugs are quite expensive to even manufacture let alone the research costs.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease here--keep calling and appealing and fighting and getting your case opened an d looked at. I wouldn't give up hope yet, especially if this is an acceptable off label use of the drug, your condition is disabling, and you don't have garbage health insurance that cant afford the cost of the drug.

BillyMc
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by BillyMc » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:39 pm

Getting coverage for off label use of very expensive drugs is difficult.

Has your doc requested a peer to peer review with the insurance company? If not, then that should be your next move.


If no luck there, then if you are able to work and if you expect to need this treatment long term, I would look for a job with a very large company that likely has a very good medical plan with a low out of pocket maximum (every large company has their insurance benefits available on their corporate website). I have had a chronic condition since I was a young kid that requires a treatment that costs >$10k/month. While Im not a corporate america guy at all, I knew my only chance at being able to ensure steady treatment without bankrupting myself and/or family was to work in very large corporate America. My career satisfaction is not I would like it to be, but overall I am much happier than I would otherwise be with no having to worry about healthcare costs, treatment, etc.

Or do whatever you need to do to be able to afford a Platinum level ACA plan that has low out of pocket max costs as well...borrow money from family...hell, even take out a loan if need be. In the end you will come out ahead.

Just something to think about.

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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by Katietsu » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:12 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:48 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:42 pm
I would go to a world-class center in the US to discuss it with an expert. No doubt they will be familiar with options.
I am going to one of the supposed top centers in the US. They are familiar with the options, and we've tried all the more affordable ones already. The only research on it is being conducted in Europe.
Have you posed your question to the medical professionals treating you? I know that patients are sometimes hesistant to talk about the financial difficulties of following the treatment plan. But a doctor who routinely prescribes for your condition will be able to best answer your question.

Also, do you qualify for social security disability? It would not be a short term answer but could potentially help down the road.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:36 am

Foreign travel may be the best bet. I went to Manila to get a ton of inhalers that were up to $400 each in U.S., but just a couple of bucks there. Your doc will likely know - or be able to point you to someone who will know. Or just call the pharmacy chains direct in places in Singapore (Watson's), Mercury (Manila), Australia (Chemist Warehouse), New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, etc. You may need to see a local doc to get a prescription; again, your doc can smooth the way. Good luck.
sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm

Are you allowed to bring home 6 months at a time? I thought the allowed amount is lower.

Do they ever confiscate at customs? This is a daily injection, so traveling home with 180 vials and needles might seem suspicious.
These issues have been pondered on previous threads. I believe there are federal limits, though whether the agents will care is another matter. To be safe, just be honest and declare it on the blue customs form: "Medications - $300" (or whatever)

sorting retirement
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by sorting retirement » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:15 am

To add to the above posts, I would say that persistence is key for these sorts of issues.

I would do as much telephone legwork as possible, and keep calling over and over again and working your way up the insurance agency hierarchy.

Try, to the extent possible, to figure out exactly who is making decisions about denying your medical care. They will undoubtedly have less expertise than your actual physicians (especially if you are at a major academic center with a world expert on the subject matter). And very few people will, once actually identified, want to be the final say in one of these companies--and so they will push it higher up the hierarchy. Often someone higher up will eventually relent.

If you can, having your physician call, speak to the insurance company medical directors, and both explaining the medical necessity and making a point to them of documenting who is denying the claim in the medical record, can be helpful. (My understanding is that insurance companies are not liable for any harm incurred from denying coverage, but it can still be helpful.)

Good luck.
sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 am
After years spent trying more affordable drugs (if you count $1200 a month as affordable), I'm left with no treatment options other than a drug that costs $1000 per WEEK. It would be on top of other drugs that are already costing me over $1000 a month.

My insurance won't cover it understandably, and the drug company's patient assistance program has a cap of $850 discount per month - $850 discount, not price. Ha!

Is there anything I can do?

HongKonger
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by HongKonger » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:38 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:36 am
Foreign travel may be the best bet. I went to Manila to get a ton of inhalers that were up to $400 each in U.S., but just a couple of bucks there. Your doc will likely know - or be able to point you to someone who will know. Or just call the pharmacy chains direct in places in Singapore (Watson's), Mercury (Manila), Australia (Chemist Warehouse), New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, etc. You may need to see a local doc to get a prescription; again, your doc can smooth the way. Good luck.
Inhalers are even cheaper here in Europe. Are they really $400 in the US? That's crazy. If I buy them with no prescription, I pay US$4.50.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:49 am

HongKonger wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:38 am
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:36 am
Foreign travel may be the best bet. I went to Manila to get a ton of inhalers that were up to $400 each in U.S., but just a couple of bucks there.
Inhalers are even cheaper here in Europe. Are they really $400 in the US? That's crazy. If I buy them with no prescription, I pay US$4.50.
In this specific case it was the Breo Ellipta (may have different name elsewhere). Regular inhalers, I'm sure, don't require such drastic action.

msk
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by msk » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:21 am

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:48 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:42 pm
I would go to a world-class center in the US to discuss it with an expert. No doubt they will be familiar with options.
I am going to one of the supposed top centers in the US. They are familiar with the options, and we've tried all the more affordable ones already. The only research on it is being conducted in Europe.
I have a friend who has recently gone to Germany for a similar situation. With the $ amounts quoted just for the drug, I would just make an appointment at the top center doing research on the condition and go there. The worst that can happen is that you end up buying a 6-month supply of the drug for a lot less $. The best that can happen is you get a finely focused adjustment for your condition and you go for annual or 6 monthly follow-ups. Air fares and medical consultations are not so expensive, especially if you do not require hospitalisation. Medical treatment is generally quite affordable in Europe, even for a foreign visitor. Not so in the USA or Canada. Huge difference. OK, Canada has less costly drugs, but hospitalisation is still mucho $ for a nonresident, of course free for residents.

mouses
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by mouses » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:53 pm

HongKonger wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:38 am
Inhalers are even cheaper here in Europe. Are they really $400 in the US? That's crazy. If I buy them with no prescription, I pay US$4.50.
$4.50, I think I'm going to puke.

A two month asthma inhaler costs me $400 in the US, $100 bought through a reputable Canadian pharmacy.

Cross fingers, the feds seem to have a policy of not stopping meds imported via the mail for personal use. I don't know what happens if one drives into Canada and tries to bring back say six months of a med.

mouses
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by mouses » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:00 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm

Do they ever confiscate at customs? This is a daily injection, so traveling home with 180 vials and needles might seem suspicious.
Are the needles expensive? If not, you might buy those in the U.S. Although I once had a mess of a time buying insulin needles for my cat in the U.S. from some nutcase pharmacist. He kept me waiting for hours while he waited for the vet to return his phone call verifying the prescription, and then it turned out the pharmacist didn't even have that size in stock. It was long enough so that other places I could drive to would have been closed by the time I got there. God save me and the cat from sanctimonious $%$##$% who think everyone is a drug addict.

Constant Chaos
Posts: 175
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Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by Constant Chaos » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:11 pm

Sawhorse, have you checked whether there are online forums/ chat groups for your condition? My son was on extremely expensive medication and those online groups were where I got all my useful information for dealing with insurance denials, alternative meds etc.

HongKonger
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am
Location: Deep in the Balkans

Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Post by HongKonger » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:47 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:49 am
HongKonger wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:38 am
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:36 am
Foreign travel may be the best bet. I went to Manila to get a ton of inhalers that were up to $400 each in U.S., but just a couple of bucks there.
Inhalers are even cheaper here in Europe. Are they really $400 in the US? That's crazy. If I buy them with no prescription, I pay US$4.50.
In this specific case it was the Breo Ellipta (may have different name elsewhere). Regular inhalers, I'm sure, don't require such drastic action.
Yes my Mum has had that one for her asthma when it gets bad. I know it was more expensive...I recall it being about 35 Euro.

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