How Much Was That?

After my trip to the OHSU gurus last week, the first assignment I was given was to go to the pharmacy and find out how much two different types of interferon cost.  I knew they would be expensive, I know that my insurance company needs to give preapproval for me to even get it, and they may not.  The use of many effective medications with uveitis is “off label” use, or using certain drugs for a purpose other than what was originally intended.  Often, insurance companies don’t like that.

Faithfully, I went to my Bi-Mart pharmacist the day after my appointment.  They couldn’t tell me how much the interferon would be if my insurance company did approve payment.  This was annoying and makes it hard to plan.  They claim that the only way they can give that information is to enter a false prescription, and that, they said, would constitute fraud.

You would think that there would be a data base somewhere that contained the information if you keyed in a plan number…but, alas, it appears that there is not.

The pharmacist did offer to give me the cash price I would have to pay if my insurance company didn’t pay anything.  Both were relatively close in price, roughly $3,600 per month.  This was not shocking to me, it only confirmed what I had researched online.

A hope that I have in getting the costs down is, tapering of the medication.  The plan is to take the maximum dose in the beginning, hit it hard, and hopefully knock my offending white blood cells on their fanny, then taper the interferon down.  Obviously, the lower the dose, the less the cost.

My next step is researching my insurance coverage for it and possibly fighting for approval so that I can take it.

And…so begins my Monday.

And…if I can swing it, get approval, and it works, well…that is the goal.  Yep, that’s it!



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