Monday, February 21, 2011

Sticker shock

I got my fresh supply of Revlimid delivered to me today. I'm now on 20 mg. The drug company doesn't make a 20 mg pill, so I have to take two 10 mg pills, which means I got 42 pills shipped to me instead of the usual 21. It didn't seem like that big of a deal, until I glanced down at the little slip that came with it and realized that the price for 42 pills is now twice as high.

Fortunately -- very fortunately -- we still only pay a $20 co-pay for the Revlimid, but does anyone want to guess how much the actual price of my bottle of pills is? Anyone?


Eighteen thousand dollars. For a three-week supply of medication.

This means that the little pill bottle sitting on my dresser is officially the most expensive thing that I own. It is worth more than my car. I'm kind of scared to touch the pills, and I certainly don't want to mess them up by, you know, swallowing them or something.


Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, wonder what their street value is! ;D

Anonymous said...

That is an astronomical figure and extrapolated out over one year is more than my feeble brain can manage. You are extremely fortunate to have insurance that covers it - we have a fellow in our church who was just dropped from his Cobra and has been unemployed for six months, making his chances for getting insurance somewhat dicey.

Linda said...

Hi Cancer Girl, been following you for a few years. Retired from teaching, 7 months later told needed oncologist. MGUS 2004-07. Thalidomide and dex, then autologous SCT 2007. Had very good partial remission. Clinical study then in a protocol for revlimid. Got it free. In Nov told oops WE made a mistake when you went into protocol bc one number went up .2%, so no more free revlimid. I'm on medicare and my insurance said it was $154000 per year. Didn't qualify for financial help except at Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They are picking up my copay which is about $8500 per year. Be well. Linda

Anonymous said...

Revlimid is the second-generation thalidomide derivative, and is considered to have a little bit less side-effects than the original. But I don't understand why not more doctors are combining the two drugs, as dr. Leibowitz does: two evenings he gives thalidomide, the third day Revlimid. He believes that there is in practice not a significant difference in the anti-cancer efficacy of these drugs ! But the price of thalidomide is neglectable compared to that of Revlimid.

Anonymous said...

In India the NATCO Pharma Limited makes 10 mg Lenalidomide capsules since 2007 (Revlimid capsules contain the same lenalidomide). These are sold for a Max. retail price of 7830 Indian rupees (IRP) for 30 capsules.

1 US$ is worth about 45 IRP, so your 42 capsules would cost about US$242.
You can actually order a package of 30 capsules of 10 mg Lenalid*10 on the internet for US$448, so 42 capsules would be US$627. In other words almost a factor 30 cheaper than the ones produced by Celgene.

Anonymous said...

i dispense that medication at a pharmacy and i have, time and time again, had my heart broken when someone tells me to cancel their order because they can't afford the astronomical prices and don't qualify for financial aid.

found your blog a year or two ago and pop in from time to time, but this was my first comment. :) hi.

Penny said...

It is decidedly cheaper to die, but probably not nearly as fun. Glad to see you're still writing.