Tis the season to count your blessing!

gimpodgimpod Posts: 1,707
edited December 4 in The Clubhouse
First I'm not preaching here I just found some of this info (mainly the cost) this weekend and thought I'd pass it along. Do with it as you wish.

As some of you know I've been in a wheelchair since 1979 and in 2000 when I started going to the V.A. for my health care and they classified me as what they call catastrophically disabled and having SSA disability as my sole source of income I get my health care for free (Thank God, you'll see why in a bit)

Around 2001 or so the V.A. did a study on Hepatitis C and found that at least 48% of all Vietnam era Vet's tested Positive (and as such made the test part of the annual check up), As did I in 2003 but the so called treatment was almost as nasty as chemo with about a 40% chance maybe and took 6 months to do. There was no way I was going through that!.

Now fast forward to 2015 or so and if you have been watching T.V. there is a cure or more specific a couple of them in pill form. That's the good news.

The bad news is the cost (I didn't find out till this weekend & you'll be shocked I was) If it wasn't for the V.A. there is noway I could afford this on my own not even the co-pay See pic,

o350hn2qoyga.png

There are new drugs that have come to market that are about half the cost or less like the one I'm taking "Mavyret" at $13,200.00 a month for 2-3 months! That's just ridiculous I mean unless you get free health care like me or your really really poor and on government assistance or you have more money than god I don't see how an average working man could even afford the co-pay if available.

Here's a few facts about Hep-C and a lik to the CDC's Hepatitis-C Site:

Who should be tested for HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection?
HCV testing is recommended for anyone at increased risk for HCV infection, including:
1. Persons born from 1945 through 1965.
2. Persons who have ever injected illegal drugs, including those who injected only once many years ago.
3. Recipients of clotting factor concentrates made before 1987.
4. Recipients of blood transfusions or solid organ transplants before July 1992.
5. Patients who have ever received long-term hemodialysis treatment.
6. Persons with known exposures to HCV, such as health care workers after needlesticks involving HCV-positive blood recipients of blood or organs from a donor who later tested HCV-positive.
7. All persons with HIV infection.
8. Patients with signs or symptoms of liver disease (e.g., abnormal liver enzyme tests).
9. Children born to HCV-positive mothers (to avoid detecting maternal antibody, these children should not be tested before age 18 months)

How common is Hepatitis C?
An estimated 3.2 million people in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C. Most are unaware of their infection. Each year, about 17,000 Americans become infected with Hepatitis C.

How serious is Hepatitis C?
Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer. Approximately 12,000 people die every year from Hepatitis C-related liver disease.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?
Many people with Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. Even though a person has no symptoms, the virus can still be detected in the blood. If symptoms occur with acute infection, they can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic Hepatitis C can take up to 30 years to develop. Damage to the liver can silently occur during this time. When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. Symptoms for both acute and chronic Hepatitis C can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice.

Thank God for the V.A.
P.S. I have no idea how I got it, most likely a result of doing something stupid, what I have no clue!
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Comments

  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 5,797
    Good info Tony. Hope all works out for you. I was just tested, along with a bunch of other things, and all good. We're being screwed by the drug companies to finance all the developing countries.
    It's just that simple.
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  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 2,216
    edited December 4
    ^^A lot of money to be made in drugs. CVS pharmacies has made a bid to purchase Anthem for 69 billion dollars. Just corporate greed, nothing to do with developing countries.

    Drug company lobbyist will make sure Americans pay top dollar for drugs, nothing more, nothing less.




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  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 910
    Millions of patients + $50-100k "cure" = billions in profit. For the drug companies, there's no down side.
  • gimpodgimpod Posts: 1,707
    Thanks David I just finishing my 5th week of treatment with only 3 weeks to go (I hope, I'll find out later this week if there's any virus in my blood work I'll have to go another 4 weeks) and NOT having any side effects which is strange for me as I don't tolerate most drugs very well.
    We're being screwed by the drug companies to finance all the developing countries.
    It's just that simple.

    Just saw this the other day "Americans pay the highest pharmaceutical prices in the world". I agree but until someone or something (A single payer system?) come's along and says enough is enough and puts a cap on what they can charge they will charge whatever they want, As long as they make boat loads of money and there free to do as they please they don't care who lives or dies.
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  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 5,797
    gimpod wrote: »
    Thanks David I just finishing my 5th week of treatment with only 3 weeks to go (I hope, I'll find out later this week if there's any virus in my blood work I'll have to go another 4 weeks) and NOT having any side effects which is strange for me as I don't tolerate most drugs very well.

    That's great news Tony
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  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,068
    I pray you are free of the Hep. C virus at the end of the 5 weeks Tony. I am glad you get these drugs for "free".

    Having Type 1 Diabetes for 33 years now, I absolutely do not appreciate the drug companies. Capitalism does not include "rape". Although, if the "rape" victim ended up with a "disease", I'm sure the drug companies would have a drug to cure it (for a price). I love the idea of Capitalism, but that's not what we have today in some cases (including drugs).

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  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,939
    edited December 5
    I'm going to take a beating on this as I have somewhat the opposite view here.

    I have a unique insight here as my dad has worked as an organic chemist specializing in crystallization in the R&D department of one of these companies for the last 30 years helping develop new drugs.

    For every single drug a company brings to market to sell, there were about 100,000 (and I think its more like 1 million) promising drugs for different diseases/conditions that for some reason or another didnt make it to market.

    That means that each year there is a CRAPTON of money spent on R&D for drugs that ultimately dont make the cut that needs to be re-couped.

    So that means that when a drug DOES make the cut, thats when the start to re-coup some of those R&D costs. And guess what? If you want to continue to get new drugs on the market, your going to have to pay for the R&D for ALL the drugs the company didnt get to market. If you dont, they have no reason to invest in more R&D for newer drugs.

    And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?

    Now do I think they may go overboard sometimes, maybe.... but when a drug first comes to market to solve something, its pricey. There is no way around it.

    The alternatives are that the government set the price limits on all drugs for everyone, which will then limit what companies will spend on R&D, slowing down and severely limiting drugs from coming on the market, or even studied. Or they could nationalize healthcare and then say "We dont like drugs x, y, z. They cost too much. We wont pay for them on ANY healthcare plan. Pay for the entire cost out of pocket." And I dont see many liking that.

    We also have a lot more red-tape to get drugs through the system, so cutting some of that down would "in theory" reduce the time to get a drug to market, which "should" reduce its price.

    This isn't just a "They just charge whatever they want" argument. There are reasons that the drug is pricey when it first comes to market. The reaons the generics are so cheap (after the patent expires), is that those companies DON'T have ANY OVERHEAD on the cost. They just take the forumla, and produce it. They dont fund research, they dont look for new drugs, they just make product that pre-exist.

    I am however not without empathy as I am one of those paying super high prices for my meds. I am on the highest possible dose of Remicaide (on top of my other drugs) and my monthly infusion which I will continue to get until I die is 30k before insurance. Each year I hit my out of pocket max as an individual, and my wife has some health issues herself, so we hit our out of pocket max as a family each year, so we have to budget for it.

    This year, that was 10k on top of paying 450 a month for our plan :smile:. So I feel your pain.

    That said, if you want them to keep funding R&D and creating drugs that cure/alleviate symptoms, then you have to shoulder their costs by paying more.

    Also I'm curious (because I dont know) @gimpod are those just the approximate cost of the treatment before insurance? And do any of those companies offer patient assistant programs? While the numbers in your chart are staggering, everyone is supposed to have healthcare of some sort (subsides or not), so in theory, you shouldn't be paying 94k over 12 weeks.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 750
    Wow! $30,000 monthly for Remicade? You must be on the highest possible dose, as you said. My ex got Remicaid infusions and they were about $10,000 per dose with one dose every 6-8 weeks.

    It took her 6 months to get approval by the State of Florida health insurance program before she moved to Florida to ensure her infusions were covered. She was initially told that they were NOT! Being a neuro-psychologist that researches pain medications, she was able to find in the rules where she was eligible for coverage. Most patients would have simply given up, and I am sure you know what the result of that would have been. :o
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  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,939
    Viking64 wrote: »
    Wow! $30,000 monthly for Remicade? You must be on the highest possible dose, as you said. My ex got Remicaid infusions and they were about $10,000 per dose with one dose every 6-8 weeks.

    It took her 6 months to get approval by the State of Florida health insurance program before she moved to Florida to ensure her infusions were covered. She was initially told that they were NOT! Being a neuro-psychologist that researches pain medications, she was able to find in the rules where she was eligible for coverage. Most patients would have simply given up, and I am sure you know what the result of that would have been. :o

    6-8 weeks and a single does is standard. I like in all things, am NOT standard :grimace:. I need a double dose, every 4 weeks. That is the max they can prescribe per does, and the earliest they can go between doses.

    When I started initially with a single dose every 8 weeks, my insurance covered the entire dose, but thats been years and my frequency and dosage has changed drastically since
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 8,115
    edited December 5
    The reasons the generics are so cheap (after the patent expires), is that those companies DON'T have ANY OVERHEAD on the cost. They just take the formula, and produce it. They don't fund research, they don't look for new drugs, they just make product that pre-exist.

    OK While I do agree with most of your post, These Generic folks must buy the active ingredients from the patent holder in most cases. In some cases the generic comes from a subsidiary of the original company. So the original patent holder can make money front and back.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 17,874
    Thank you for your service brother, and God Bless you.
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  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 1,548
    Dan, this is what bothers me..."And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?"...there was a time when cures were developed out of the desire to help humanity. Just look back over history at the great work done by many to bring about cures to many diseases and most were done "for the greater good." Today, capitalism rules.
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  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 3,752
    edited December 5
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Dan, this is what bothers me..."And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?"...there was a time when cures were developed out of the desire to help humanity. Just look back over history at the great work done by many to bring about cures to many diseases and most were done "for the greater good." Today, capitalism rules.

    I agree, man. I know we all got to make a living, and I think that people with PhDs in chemistry developing these drugs should make a better living than a lot of us, but why can't someone be satisfied with making a solid living and knowing that what you do every day actually makes a difference in people's lives? But that is the logic of capitalism, accumulation of wealth for its own sake, eff everything else...

    And of course, we all know its the CEOs, investors, and marketing folks that make the most money, not the lowly PhDs...
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  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 8,115
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Dan, this is what bothers me..."And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?"...there was a time when cures were developed out of the desire to help humanity. Just look back over history at the great work done by many to bring about cures to many diseases and most were done "for the greater good." Today, capitalism rules.
    rooftop59 wrote: »
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Dan, this is what bothers me..."And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?"...there was a time when cures were developed out of the desire to help humanity. Just look back over history at the great work done by many to bring about cures to many diseases and most were done "for the greater good." Today, capitalism rules.

    I agree, man. I know we all got to make a living, and I think that people with PhDs in chemistry developing these drugs should make a better living than a lot of us, but why can't someone be satisfied with making a solid living and knowing that what you do every day actually makes a difference in people's lives? But that is the logic of capitalism, accumulation of wealth for its own sake, eff everything else...

    And of course, we all know its the CEOs, investors, and marketing folks that make the most money, not the lowly PhDs...

    HEAR HEAR YES
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,939
    edited December 5
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Dan, this is what bothers me..."And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?"...there was a time when cures were developed out of the desire to help humanity. Just look back over history at the great work done by many to bring about cures to many diseases and most were done "for the greater good." Today, capitalism rules.

    Just to clarify. I sincerely wish that we as a society would put our heads together to solve problems for the sole benefit of stopping suffering. Most of the people working to MAKE the drugs and DO the research have this goal in mind. But they aren't the people running the company necessarily. Cancer, Alzheimers, etc all suck and I wish we could just eradicate them like we did with smallpox, polio, etc.

    However I am a realist and in a capitalistic society, profitability helps drive decision making. And in order to continue to fund existing products in the pipeline, the companies need a massive return on the investments that DO make it to market, and also still need to show a profit.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 1,548
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Dan, this is what bothers me..."And lets also not kid ourselves. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, simply to cure diseases. This is AMERICA. They are FOR PROFIT companies. So they need to answer to their shareholders, and also turn a profit, otherwise why would they continue to operate?"...there was a time when cures were developed out of the desire to help humanity. Just look back over history at the great work done by many to bring about cures to many diseases and most were done "for the greater good." Today, capitalism rules.

    Just to clarify. I sincerely wish that we as a society would put our heads together to solve problems for the sole benefit of stopping suffering. Most of the people working to MAKE the drugs and DO the research have this goal in mind. But they aren't the people running the company necessarily. Cancer, Alzheimers, etc all suck and I wish we could just eradicate them like we did with smallpox, polio, etc.

    However I am a realist and in a capitalistic society, profitability helps drive decision making. And in order to continue to fund existing products in the pipeline, the companies need a massive return on the investments that DO make it to market, and also still need to show a profit.

    Yet, all the reasons mentioned for such high prices, it still doesn't negate the fact that drug companies pocker insane cash yearly. Look at their books. I agree with your arguments to some degree, yet, when you look at the annual bottom line, the crazy money spent on sales women and management compensation ot just doesn't add up to anything more than greed. As a fairly aware investor I can't reconcile it any other way. Capitalism is great...unchecked capitalism is not.
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  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 8,115
    Thank you for your sacrifice Tony
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,939
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Capitalism is great...unchecked capitalism is not.

    True, but thats all around us in every type of company. Look at data plans for phones, internet data plans and throttling, health care premiums, gas prices, etc :smile:

    And I wont get to much farther into it so I dont get banned lol....

    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 8,709
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Capitalism is great...unchecked capitalism is not.

    True, but thats all around us in every type of company. Look at data plans for phones, internet data plans and throttling, health care premiums, gas prices, etc :smile:

    And I wont get to much farther into it so I dont get banned lol....

    FCC is taking away Net Neutrality for the benefit of a conglomerate.
  • gimpodgimpod Posts: 1,707
    @EndersShadow , in reply to your first post and your direct question to me.

    It's so nice to see the same song & dance from the drug companies haven't change in the last 40-50 years. Look at this link from "Forbes" in 2016 about just one drug.

    How Abbvie's Humira Undercuts The Drug Industry Price Defense


    There's something I learned during my 10 1/2 month long rehab in the hospital and that was if you tell someone something (true or false) often enough they will sooner or later start to believe it.

    Now in reply, Without contacting your health care insurance provider there is no way to find out if they even cover this drug and if so what the co-pay will be. I do know that "GoodRX.com" with there free coupon I can get a 28 day supply of "Mavyret" from my local Haggens, Albertsons or Safeway (the cheapiest places in my area) for only $13,552. By the way Medicare Part D does not cover this and I believe there's very little help from the "ACA".

    Now if I could meet AbbVie's eligibility it would only be as little as $5.00 (how can that be? Because most people can't meet the eligibility).

    AbbVie's eligibility requirements from there own companies web site:

    "Eligibility: Available to patients with commercial prescription insurance coverage for MAVYRET. Co-pay assistance program is not available to patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal, state or government-funded insurance programs (for example, Medicare [including Part D], Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense or Veteran’s Affairs programs) or where prohibited by law. If at any time a patient begins receiving prescription drug coverage under any such federal, state or government-funded healthcare program, patient will no longer be able to use the AbbVie HCV Co-pay Card and the patient must call PSKW at 1-844-865-8725 to stop participation. Patients may not seek reimbursement for value received from the AbbVie HCV Co-pay Program from any third-party payers. Offer subject to change or discontinuance without notice. Restrictions, including monthly maximums, may apply.
    This is not health insurance."

    Anyway that's all I'm going to say about this as I don't want to get get banned or start a flame war. So I'm done here, bye bye.
    "If you design software that any moron can use only morons will use it." JMO
    ---
    “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain

    Unfortunately for most of us we only get to experience the first day and then we can't even remember it.
    ---
    "Close only counts in Horseshoes, Hand Grenades and Thermonuclear Weapons."
    "50% Why... That's almost half."
    "I know, I'm sick and need help."
    ----
    www.gimpod.com
    ----
    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction." ~ Kenneth Swauger
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