Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 sylvia, Community Member, asks

Q: Humira

My Rheumatolagist has suggested that I start taking Humira, I am really excited about this drug, however I have two questions, for those of you on this drug, how has it affected your RA, and how can you afford it?

I live in Canada, I am retired and on a pension, my extended health plan will pay 80% of my drugs, but the Humira costs $1600 per month here so I will have to pay quite a bit out of pocket, I have applied for Pharmacare and they have approved me, but with a $1100 deductible. How much does Humira cost in the USA and do you get any help paying for it?

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Answers (4)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
4/18/10 8:42pm

I also live in Canada and have been on Humira for three years (was on Enbrel two years before that). Depending on your province, you may be able to access a financial support program for medication through your provincial government. I live in Ontario and get support through the Trillium Drug Program. I would recommend you speak to your pharmacist - I got the tip and the application form from mine. Your rheumatologist will also need to be involved to fill out an application form that specifies why you need this drug, etc. If you are over 65, that you may have to access another type of program, but again, your pharmacist should be able to point you in the right direction.

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sylvia, Community Member
4/20/10 7:06pm

I live in BC, my Rheumatologist hooked me up with a company called Progress, and they are trying to get my extended health plan and the government to agree to a proposal, my deductible with my health plan is 20%, however the deductible with Pharmacare is $1100, so what they are trying to work out, is for the extended health to pay 80% for the first month, I will pay the 20% and as the Humira costs $1600 per month, that will cover the deductible with the government, so after that I should get the humira covered 100% for a year.

It sure looks like they have a terrific health plan in Australia.

My daughter lives in England, and with their health plan, which is through the National Health Services, no matter how much a prescription costs they pay the first 25 pounds, it's amazing how different countries have such a variety of health plans.

thank you for all your replies 

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Upsate NY, Community Member
4/15/10 9:12am

I can't answer your RA question because I take Humira for my psoriasis (and it generally keeps me in remission).  But as for price, it is also around $1600 here in the US.  I have great insurance with a $50 copay, and Humira has a free copay assistance program for everyone,  so they pick up $45 of my $50.  There are other assitance programs available as well.   Check it out at http://www.humira.com/Global/FinancialHelp/Default.aspx

 

Good luck!

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Lois, Community Member
4/15/10 8:26pm

Was on Humira shots every week that I gave myself. The price was about $900 /shot. Copay via mail order for 3 months with my insurance was $60.00. However, when I turned 65 and went on medicare, my copay for the 3 month period became $9700.00 because medicare doesn't pay for this class IV drug. Because I couldn't afford this, my Rheumatologist changed her protocol to Remicade IV infusion. She administers this therefore, medicare will pay 80% and my secondary insurance pays the remaining 20%.

I faired very well with the Humira and am doing the same with the Remicade. I had minor side effects with Humira (bruising) and Remicade (metallic taste). Hopes this helps,

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KATHY HOLLAND, Community Member
4/21/10 7:30pm

MY 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WAS ON EMBREAL FIRST THEN WENT TO REMICADE IV INFUSION FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS NO SIDE EFFECTS YET  ANY ONE KNOW IF

HER JRA WAS TREATED EARLY IF IT WOULD HAVE STOPPED HER VISION AND HEARING LOSE

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Barb, Community Member
4/19/10 4:21pm

Hi i feel so sorry when i read about all of you having a hard time paying for medicines or even worrying about how to afford them when you have such a horrible illness. I live in Australia and here i was put onto plaquenil, methotrexate and prednisone and when the plaquenil didnt work they changed it to arava but i had to stay on the other two medicines methotrexate and prednisone. However when that didn't work because it was making my liver count bad. I know im being long winded but here they have to try you on at least 3 medications for a period of 6 months then they send  your blood test results and a list of the meds you have been on to the health department and if its still bad then they give us the humira for the price of a normal prescription which is $25 a month or $5.50 if your on a pension card. In saying this we do sign an agreement that if the humira hasn't bought our bloods down by 30% and if 50% of the number of joints arent improved they class the medicine as a fail and they will not fund you to take humira for 5 years. However they will definatly try you on something different such as enbril or perhaps an infusion type of drug.

I wish you all had the same kind of system we have cheers and godbless you all

Barb xx

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sylvia, Community Member
4/20/10 7:23pm

Thank you so much for your reply, I am also on Arava and Prednisone, I tried methotrexate, and felt nauseated and dizzy all the time.

The Avara worked great for a couple of months and then the RA came back with a vengence. I was only diagnosed with RA a year ago, I am now 65, I don't have a clue how I got it, as far as I know no one in my family ever had it, I have two daughters in their forties and of course Grandchildren, so I am praying that I will not pass it on to any of them.

I have a brother that lives in Perth and they are alway talking about what a great health plan they have in Australia, lucky you!!

However in Canada as long as you get over the first hump with the government, they will pay 100%.

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Barb, Community Member
4/22/10 9:28am

Hi again Sylvia, I am not sure anyone knows why they get this horrible disease! I am adopted, so i have no clue if it was in my family or not. All i know is that i have it now and im reading so much and trying so hard to understand it. To be honest i don't think i ever will really understand it! It seems to be a little different for all of us and the meds seem to work great for some and are just terrible of others. The lady on here that has helped me by answering my post as well as reading her stories is Lena. I think she knows loads more than me so perhaps you could ask her if you have any other questions. Please don't get me wrong its lovely speaking to you and anytime you just feel like a chat im more than happy to do that but i must admit im scared i may not give the correct information. When your well i hope you get the chance to visit your brother in Perth as Australia is such a lovely country. I am in Brisbane, Queensland and if your ever in the area i would be more than pleased to meet a fellow fighter.

 

Hugs, best wishes and god bless

 

Barb xx

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Joan, Community Member
4/26/10 7:41pm

Hi there - I also live in Canada and have been on Humira for about 3 years.  It is a life saver for me with RA.  No problems at all with it, other than pain from time to time.  My doctor applies to the Trillium Foundation and when approved (you have had to fail on most other drugs tried) you get the drug.  I hope this helps.

 

Joan

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By sylvia, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 04/14/10