March 10, 2010
A courier came yesterday with my first package of Humira®, which will, if everything goes right, take the place of the rather cumbersome Remicade infusions, which required me to spend half a day in the rather grim cancer center at St. Vincent Hospital. Remicade also required me to take a strong dose of antihistamine, lest there be reactions, which knocked me plumb out. Not to mention that Remicade has some fiercely fatiguing side effects.
Humira on the other hand can be injected at home, once we’re trained. I say “we” because my saintly David has offered to do the actual stabbing. I like the idea and hope it does not cause him too much trauma. If anything, maybe he can release some aggression! We are due at the GI clinic in an hour to be introduced to proper stabbing form.
Regarding cost, Humira, at about $800 per dose, will cost about $1600 a month in total cost to the health care system. Remicade properly taken (every eight weeks for me), costs about $2500 a month when averaged out. Our out-of-pocket costs are about $350 for each Remicade dose. The Humira package, which contains about three months’ ($4800) worth of doses, costs us considerably less. Due to a combination of good pharmacy coverage and Humira’s own co-pay subsidy program, it cost us five dollars total. Even the trip to the doctor today to learn how to use it won’t incur a charge.
This makes me a bit suspicious as to the possibly nefarious ways of Humira. I have a hunch that they are offsetting the cost of the training, and the co-pay reduction program is obviously in their best interest to keep folks using the drug. But, I should not look proverbial gift horse too deeply in its mouth.
I find it humorous that the package says “Crohn’s Disease Starter Kit” on it, as if it were some sort of yeast or fermented substance with which to make beer or cheese. Plus, I don’t want to start any more Crohn’s Disease.
Wish me luck.
Some previous posts about my experiences with Remicade: