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03-23-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
misscris
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Cost of Pentasa

Ok, so I went to an appt with a new GI today. He basically said I need to get started on the medication and today. He put me on 250 MG Pentasa and Azathioprine. However, on my way home from the clinic the pharmacy called to tell me they didn't have any Pentasa on stock and would have it tomorrow instead. Then she told me, "it's also really expensive, do you want me to fill it still?" Yeah .. this medication is going to cost me $272.00. and I don't even know how long that will last me. Holy crap. That's not even counting what the Aza is going to cost. I can't afford to pay that, and I don't know what to do. I know I should be a good girl and start the medications tomorrow like he said and do the blood work in 2 weeks like he said and see him in 4 weeks like he said .. but what the heck?! I don't know what to do right now. Not very excited about this visit.

Any suggestions anybody?
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Crohns Diagnosis: March 2009
Resection and Abcess March 2009

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03-24-2010, 12:34 AM   #2
pain in the butt
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Sorry to here the bad news I really feel for you. I'm in the same boat wish I could help. Maybe someone else might know how to get some kind of help.
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Diagnosed- Colitis ????2007
Currently on- prednisone tapering - Bentyl-mesalamine enamas-Calcium-lorazepam-pristic-vicodin as needed-imodium as need -multi vit.-imitrex as needed

Past med. cholestyramine-Entocort-Asacol -flagal - cipro-vancomiacin-aricept-and awhole lot more
03-24-2010, 12:57 AM   #3
Jennifer
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Do you have absolutely no medical insurance? If you do and they don't want to pay for it, ask your GI what else he could put you on that does the same thing that your insurance will pay for. If that's all you can take, then you will have to ask the pharmacy to file for a TAR (Treatment Authorization Request). This can take time, sometimes weeks to go through. If it doesn't go through the first time, then you may need to contact your insurance and ask them what information they require for them to decide to cover it, such as a letter from your doctor or whatever. It's a hassle but it can be done.

If you don't have insurance, either get some or borrow money.

Currently I'm not on any meds because I hit a snag with my insurance.
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Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 50mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel, Tylenol 3, Omeprazole 20mg 2/day, Klonopin 1mg 2/day (anxiety), Restoril 15mg (insomnia), Claritin 20mg
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 17 years and counting.
03-24-2010, 01:09 AM   #4
Rob
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Wow that sux

here in Australia we have what they call PBS
it's where the government subsidizes the cost of certain medications
my salofalk is meant to be $297 a box but after the PBS it's $33.30
maybe you should try talkin too your gov or Medicare etc An see if they can help
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Now on Vedolizumab MLN0002 - woohoo!! Hope this works
--------------------------------------------------------------
200mg immuran daily
1500mg mesalazine salofalk daily
Somac 40mg daily
NO MORE PRED YAHOO!!!
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tried remicade and didn't work
03-24-2010, 03:43 AM   #5
beth
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Can you get your drugs as personal imports, like a quick google suggests canadadrugs.com is way cheaper.
03-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #6
InkyStinky
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Hi MissCris! I have no insurance and I hear you about the cost of all these meds!!!! Do you have a Walgreen's in your area? They have this thing called the "W Card" - a discount cards for prescriptions - that saves me a boatload on my meds (nearly 50% off the price of the 6mp). You pay $20 a year to get the W Card.

I've also heard that Costco has really cheep prescriptions - you can get them by mail if there isn't a Costco in your area (costco.com). I use Walgreen's because it's cheeper for me than Costco.
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IBD diagnosed 1990 @ 8yrs old (current dx: Crohn’s); Blood clots 12/2009 (DVT, bilateral PE)
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-Are you looking for a new treatment option for your Crohn's disease? If so, I suggest you look into the ongoing clinical trial by Qu Biologics for their SSI treatment. Click here for more information or to help spread the word.
03-24-2010, 11:05 AM   #7
misscris
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I do have insurance, and that is MY portion. Ugh! What the heck. So I am awaiting a call from the pharmacy again this morning. She is going to find out if there is something else I can take that is cheaper instead or something. I haven't looked into Walgreens or Costco, but I do have both close by. Thanks for the info everybody.
03-24-2010, 12:01 PM   #8
Rob
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Good luck Cris

hope ya find a solution

over here we hav generic/pharmacy brands too which are normally halve the price
03-24-2010, 12:48 PM   #9
misscris
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Rob said:
Good luck Cris

hope ya find a solution

over here we hav generic/pharmacy brands too which are normally halve the price
I asked her if they had generic for it, and she said no they dont' make it. <shrug>
03-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #10
Rob
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Hmmm ok I know they do generic for the immuran as that's what I use not sure on the penta tho

what about discount pharmacies? We hav a few here that are alot cheaper to buy from due to the fact they buy in bulk

sounds like I'm lucky to be here with our medical/health system
we seem get bit more help/relief

Hope ya get some good luck goin for ya
03-24-2010, 03:28 PM   #11
Cookie
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Cris,

Do you know if your insurance has a mail order program? If I have a maintenance med with repeat refills I can get it through mail order for about 1/4 of the price. I take Lialda which is also expensive relative to some others and it's like $50/month if I get it through the pharmacy and like $16 if I get it through the mail.
03-25-2010, 12:00 AM   #12
Jennifer
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Is there any way you can contact your insurance company and ask them what they would suggest? It is possible that they will do something to help you out since you need the medicine to live and all.
03-25-2010, 12:34 AM   #13
misscris
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Well I didn't go pick up the prescriptions today. I don't know. I'm not quite sure I liked this GI I saw so part of me thinks I don't want to start the medications he prescribed if I'm not going back to him. I think I want to go to another clinic altogether. I didn't have a good visit with this guy. Every time he went to say anything he found a way to tell me I'm obese. Thanks shithead. Oh, and did you know that since I'm not bleeding, I'm not sickly thin, and I have a good blood count, I can't be having any flares. Yup. That's what he was telling me. He just kept referring to my weight and also because I don't bleed. Hm... that doesn't really sound very helpful. And he kept mentioning the other GI in that office that I don't want to see anymore. Either they talked before hand, or he is just a jerk in general. He kept bringing up the other GI I didn't like and saying things like "He asked you to do this, DID you do it?". I just kind of got an animosity vibe from him. I guess it's time to keep looking for a GI. I think I need to leave that office altogether.
03-25-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
InkyStinky
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misscris said:
He just kept referring to my weight and also because I don't bleed. Hm... that doesn't really sound very helpful.
That is totally not helpful! I went to several different GI's while I was growing up, and I remember most of the nurses would say "you're looking good today", to which I would say "I feel terrible", to which they would say, "Really? But you look so good!". Argh!!!!!! But doctors really should know better, and if that GI doesn't understand the nature of your IBD it sounds like you should see another one - you don't need a doc who adds to your stress!!!!
03-25-2010, 03:56 PM   #15
Lydia
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I dont bleed much and I only ever have 2-3 BMs a day even in severe flare mode, so that doesnt mean anything. My last scope was really terrible and my symptoms were not THAT bad. I was a little shocked with the results actually.

I wish everyone had my GI. He is so awesome and his bedside manner is wonderful. A few years ago when I almost died, he came into my room, grabbed my hand and told me he was going to pull me through this. Now thats what you want to hear during your darkest hour. He is also not afraid to tell me like it is. All around he is an awesome GI. Keep shopping around because its really great to have a GI that you trust with your life.
03-25-2010, 05:45 PM   #16
Lex
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Try seeing a Naturopathologistm, most times your insurance will cover the cost and the treatment they recommend is affordable.

Take into account that medication that is developed specifically for CD and UC are expensive-prednisone is relatively cheap because it can be used to treat different illness's, imuran is slightly more expensive because it is not generic where azathioprine is cheaper because it is the generic brand.

When the patent is up on Pentasa runs out, they will market a generic brand.

The empathy I have for people who can't afford insurance or the medication is great; it makes me appreciate what I have in Canada, even more so that where I live the Government offers a fully funded Extended Health Program that will cover 100% of the cost of medication for specified diseases-CD being one of them.
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03-25-2010, 05:46 PM   #17
misscris
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I'm going to leave the clinic all together. I'm just thinking that if I go to another one that I could just risk the same type of attitude. So I'm going to go to another GI that a friend of mine goes to. She's been very happy with her and it would actually be nice to have a woman doctor. haaha

So since I made this decision, I also decided to not get those prescriptions yet. If I do fill them I have to be back at a Dr's office for blood work in 2 weeks, and I can't guarantee this new Doc will get me in by then. So I will just put off the meds until I get a new GI that I'm comfortable with.

Thank you everybody that has replied with your support and advice. I appreciate it greatly.
03-25-2010, 07:39 PM   #18
Rob
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Good luck Cris

hope ya find a good specialist
ya got the right attitude
03-25-2010, 08:05 PM   #19
Jennjenn
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Good luck with the new doctor
03-25-2010, 08:13 PM   #20
Mountaingem
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misscris said:
Well I didn't go pick up the prescriptions today. I don't know. I'm not quite sure I liked this GI I saw so part of me thinks I don't want to start the medications he prescribed if I'm not going back to him. I think I want to go to another clinic altogether. I didn't have a good visit with this guy. Every time he went to say anything he found a way to tell me I'm obese. Thanks shithead. Oh, and did you know that since I'm not bleeding, I'm not sickly thin, and I have a good blood count, I can't be having any flares. Yup. That's what he was telling me. He just kept referring to my weight and also because I don't bleed. Hm... that doesn't really sound very helpful. And he kept mentioning the other GI in that office that I don't want to see anymore. Either they talked before hand, or he is just a jerk in general. He kept bringing up the other GI I didn't like and saying things like "He asked you to do this, DID you do it?". I just kind of got an animosity vibe from him. I guess it's time to keep looking for a GI. I think I need to leave that office altogether.
OMG!!! Misschris that's terrible! I'm so sorry you had to deal with such a jerk on top of being sick. I had a doc who put me on pred for 9 month then had the balls to give me a Weight Watchers pamphlet when I came in. I guess this means I'll fail the swimsuit portion of the competition lol.
Yeah, I think when we get a bad vibe, we should listen to our guts (no pun intended) so definitely go with someone else. As for medication costs, some drug manufacturers have patient programs that can help offset the costs, Montel Williams, the talk show host advertises them here on T.V. Maybe google it and see if it's something that could help you out.
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03-25-2010, 08:43 PM   #21
misscris
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Hey Jeannette... your telling of the prednisone episode with your doctor reminded me of something else he did. Now that I feel somewhat more human then when I saw him I laugh. When he was talking about medications, he looked me up and down (of course after he's already said obese about 10 times) and said "well, I don't think we want to go the Pred route." then looked me up and down again. hahahaha I just think it's funny. I wasn't there to get Pred or anything so I didn't care but I thought it was funny after I thought about it.

I made my appt for Mid April with the new clinic and with the female doctor I had been told to give a try. So we'll see how she is and how things go. So for the time being, I'm NOT going to pick up those prescriptions until she sees me, that way I can go back to her clinics for blood work and such.
03-25-2010, 08:50 PM   #22
Jennjenn
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I hope this new GI will help you feel well chris! I dont blame you for waiting on filling the prescriptions. I am doing the same thing with the one I have till I see the new one on monday.
03-25-2010, 08:53 PM   #23
misscris
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Oddly enough I feel relatively fine Crohns wise. I mean I have issues, don't we all, but I'm alright. The only reason i was sent to one by my Dr was because he wanted to rule out my weakness and lethargic ways from my Crohns.

Good luck on your new GI as well Jenn. I think it takes a while sometimes to find just the right doctor for you. Not saying that the other doctors we've been to aren't good, just not the right fit for us.
03-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #24
Rob
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Don't feel bad about weight
as a dr (hmmm are they really a dr sound a bit stupid to be qualified), he should know with crohns that if/when a bad flare occurs that weight loss can be very rapid and dangerous so if your already proper weight then you can become dangerously under weight very quickly

always better to be a bit over weight with cd

besides a dr is meant to be there for support etc not to put you down
here in Australia you can report a dr to the medical board for how they treat you, with what you've said I date say it's how he treats all his patients so the board would take a good look at his licence if he recieved lots complaints

Hope this new dr is much better for you
03-25-2010, 11:18 PM   #25
misscris
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Thanks Rob. And you know I don't honestly feel bad about my weight. I'm overweight yes, and I have always been so. It's not a new concept for me. Crohns however, that's a new concept. hehe So when I had surgery and got a diagnosis I was thinner then I am now, but was still overweight. I just think it's a narrowminded assinine way of viewing things. I just figure if he treats a lot of people like that, then he'll have less people to see sooner or later.

Thanks Rob.
03-25-2010, 11:52 PM   #26
Rob
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No probs Cris
glad you got the right frame of mind
03-26-2010, 01:34 AM   #27
Mountaingem
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Best wishes on your new doc chris! I've had the up-and-down glance followed by the doc immediately ruling pred out as a treatment option-it's true, when you feel better, it can be pretty funny!
03-26-2010, 08:08 AM   #28
Tan
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Oh Cris Im so glad you have decided to go with another GI as your current GI sounds like a complete tool. Where does he get off judging you and thinking you don't have a flare cause either your not bleeding or stick thin WTF. I think you are right to go with no meds at presents especially if you can handle not being on anything untill seeing the new GI she might want to go a complete different route and you wouldn't want to waste your money. It makes all the difference having a great GI who understands you and actually listens to you and give you options then asks which direction you want to take not this is what you will do I don't care what you think or say!! My GI is fantastic and has made all the difference in my care I feel like an actual person who has a say in how we deal with my health, I really hope you too get to experience this with your new GI.

By the way that is a hell of alot of money to spend after insurance has covered part. Def glad we live in Oz Im with Rob my meds that I was on were like $270 but by the time gov paid their part it only cost me $36 I wouldn't be able to afford my medication otherwise.. that is just out of control.

Good luck Girly want to hear how ya go!
03-26-2010, 09:09 AM   #29
whysoserious
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Good luck with your new GI misscris! Sorry your old one was such a butthead. I hear you on not being able to afford meds. I just recently got insurance, but I didn't have it for years and sometimes my meds and doctor visit would run up a three hundred dollar bill. My hubby was laid off at the time as well. I hope you feel better soon and glad that you found a new GI. Also like someone said earlier, look into Walgreen's pharmacy plan, I use it and even though you might not save a whole lot you will save some, and it does add up over time.
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