Are you ready to hear some astounding prescription drug figures?
I recently started CellCept again, after an almost seven-year hiatus. (After several years of plaquenil, prednisone, and a couple of pregnancies, it's time for another round of my favorite mycophenalate medication.) When I was last on the drug, from 2004-2007, I recall the medication being quite expensive, particularly because there was no generic available. Thankfully, my insurance covered the brand-named drug completely, so we were relatively unaffected by the high cost, which at the time was approximately $800 for one month's supply of 2000mg/day. God bless health insurance.
Fast forward to today, and that's not exactly the case. While I have great insurance, it's one that has a prescription benefit cap. On this current plan, I have $1500 to spend on meds a year. For those familiar with prescription drug costs--that pays for a lot of prednisone, but not very much cellcept.
So when my doctor prescribed cellcept, I knew I was going to have to crunch some numbers to figure how this med was going to fit into our budget. First thing I did was to sign on for the generic form of the drug. Second thing was to call my insurance company. And here's what I discovered:
At my current dosage (1000 mg), I pay a $10 co-pay, and the insurance company covers the cost of the generic medicine which is $322/month.
After about 5 months, my drug benefit ($1500) will run out, maybe even faster since I'm still filling other prescriptions.
Once that benefit is exhausted, the cost of the generic medication will be a $10 co-pay, plus $401/month, all of which I'll need to cover. Yikes.
What's more, by that point, I'll be on 1500 mg, if not 2000 mg, so it will be even more than that. I opted not to price that out because of the good news I heard below:
If I mail-order a 3-month supply of generic Cellcept at a time, the cost to me is a $20 co-pay, plus $84. $84! And that's assuming an increased dosage of 1500 mg/day. Woohoo!
What's more, I found out that my beloved local pharmacy participates in what my insurance company calls the Retail 90 Network program. As long as I obtain a 3-month prescription from my doctor, I can still go to my own pharmacy to have prescription filled, and see the friendly, smiling faces of my pharmacists.
I've always known ordering my medicine in bulk was cheaper, but I didn't realize how much cheaper. Believe me, I wish I didn't have to pay a cent over my co-pays. But discovering this massive savings has been a big "win" in the patient category. Bring on the Cellcept, and let it work its magic!