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Cost of Thyrogen

cportmann
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2010

I have to get Thyrogen in July for my whole body scan marking ONE YEAR! Man, time flies! Anyways, my insurance said I am maxed out and they won't cover it. Surprise, surprise. I don't want to resort to the other option of going off Synthroid.
Did anyone else face this issue? Are there any options out there for financial assistance with Thyrogen? I figure, you never know unless you ask!
Thanks!!!

kkirsits
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi -- I totally understand where you are coming from. I am just getting myself out of debt with credit cards and medical bills that had gone into collections. Unfortunately my take home pay just barely meets my basic living expenses of rent, utilities, food and gas for the car (I'm single). My insurance deductible is $500 and then I pay 80% up to $1,000. So, basically I have almost a $1,500 deductible. I was diagnosed three years ago in November with thyroid cancer and had it removed. When I went back to the surgeon for my follow up he indicated to me that I would be maxing my insurance deductible for the next five years with scans, radiology appointments, blood work, etc. Well, imagine that since this was all new to me nothing sunk in.

Here I am three years into my treatment and I'm struggling to keep my head above water just to pay basic living expenses and I have nothing extra to pay for major medical bills.

So, my endo wants me to have the thyrogen shot instead of taking me off synthroid (which I know if I go off it, I will be miserable for at least 2 months). Well, the pharmecutical company that was going to supply me with the thyrogen injection wanted me to pay $150 a month over a 6 month period (my cost was going to be almost $900 after insurance picked up their portion). So, I finally wrote to the company, customer service, billing and few other departments and explained to them my situation and the I could not pay that amount every month and that I only could pay $40 a month which I was told was unacceptable. Well, they had me complete a hardship form which I qualified for, so the company accepted what my insurance would pay and I don't have to pay anymore.

Now I am trying to deal with the hospital before I have my scan -- that will be almost $3,000 and I have told them what I can pay on a monthly basis and they don't know if that will be acceptable until I have the scan done, get the bill and we go from there. Of course if what I pay is not acceptable then it will go into collections.

Also, I can't afford to continue going to my endo, have blood work done or anything else.

So, I know the issues you are facing and I all I can say is keeping plugging away with the higher ups to get assistance.

Of course, like I have been told, "it's thyroid cancer -- it's the most curable cancer. If you are going to have cancer this is the best kind to have". My question -- who wants cancer to begin with -- good or bad

good luck.

cportmann
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2010

Exactly, good one or bad one, who wants it?! Urgh, I hate those comments!

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely try to elevate my issue to someone who might offer me a hardship form to complete or some sort of assistance. I know the drug company that is going to supply mine, said I had to pay everything up front, no payment options! They said they wouldn't even send my stuff to the doctor until it was paid. :(

I COMPLETELY understand all your other frustrations! I had to move back in with my parents! Such a horrible feeling, but the bills unfortunately aren't going to pay themselves. When I started the process, I was uninsured and in between jobs. Since then, I have gotten insurance, but they barely cover anything b/c this started before. It's a vicious circle.

Is your endo not willing to work with you so you can continue to get treatment and follow ups? I wish I had some strong words of wisdom to offer.

Thanks again for the advice!!!

adrm2005
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

I am a retired GP in the UK with a friend who has just completed her i131 Rx for thyroid ca. She is a victim of the general shortage of Thyrogen, but out of interest I did googling and was suddenly faced with lots of comments re reimbursement costs from US patients.

Thus I post this link but I cannot and will not not accept any queries as a result of doing so.

http://www.nelm.nhs.uk/en/NeLM-Area/Evidence/Drug-Specific-Reviews/Recombinant-TSH-Thyrogen-for-ablation-of-thyroid-remnant-tissue-post-thyroidectomy-for-thyroid-cancer/

aep73
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2012

I found the article very informative, particularly in light of the political discussions going on here in the U.S. I am newly diagnosed and familiarizing myself with everything thyroid cancer. Thank you for the link --no queries, as you said, just gratitude!

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