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Cost of Xeloda

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

My insurance company formulary does not offer coverage for Xeloda, which is what I was told on Thursday I will have to switch to for startup chemo due to the 5FU shortage. How much will I have to pay for the 21-day dose of Xeloda per month in the U.S.?

I have heard that the manufacturer, Roche, has a financial assistance plan I can apply for but I have to buy my first prescription this week and was unprepared for this unexpected expense since my 5FU chemo would have been paid for at 100 percent due to maxing my out of pocket with liver resection surgery in June.

Has anyone had to buy their Xeloda out of pocket the last couple of weeks that could give me a clue of its current retail cost?

Thanks.

K1

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4210
Joined: Feb 2009

It's been awhile since I've been on but it was about $2,100 for a six week supply and this was going through insurance. It might be different if you don't have insurance to cover it.

Kim

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3390
Joined: Apr 2010

was in May I think, it was $2,900.00 for my 6 pills per day for 14 days, that's cost without insurance, also I believe the manufacturer is Genetech, they do have a program, it's a credit card that can only be used for the purchase of Xeloda which I think is worth about 100.00 if you have insurance coverage to help with the co-pay, if you're on medi-care they cannot help you with the payment, I'm not sure what they do if you don't have any insurance.
Winter Marie

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

to find another Oncologist clinic close to you that has it onhand ( the 5fu) ? I would guess that the cost of traveling to get the 5fu might outweigh the cost of xeloda at home...just food for thought....good luck.....buzz

Kimo Sabe's picture
Kimo Sabe
Posts: 64
Joined: Aug 2011

I would ask your oncologist to call the pharmaceutical representative. Often times they can help to bridge the gap. Were you told by the insurance company of the formulary or did you see it online. Do you have an appeal process?

I know Medicare part B covers it. I checked online and I could find the price of $2500 for two weeks. Does your hospital have a social worker?
If all else fails it may be time to call Michael Moore. Seriously. I think if this doesn't go through, you should make much loud noise. Please keep us posted. Best wishes.

Norm

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3390
Joined: Apr 2010

Medicare part B doesn't pay for all of it, there is the over 400.00 co-pay, at least for me!!!
Winter Marie

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 946
Joined: Oct 2010

The primary patent expired, I think you can import, even mail, 90 days worth with a prescription (scripts max at 8 tablets/day) In Asia, generic capecitabine is about $3-4 per 500 mg capecitabine tablet in many countries, even $4-5 per tablet for 500 mg Xeloda tablets.
say 7 tab/day x 14/cycle = 98 tablets/cycle,
98 x $4 each = $392 / 3 week cycle (2 wk on) for 3.5 grams/day

Other price gripes
With FDA enforced monopolies, US drug prices are ridiculous. Today I checked on 25mg generic leucovorin tablets (a cheap B vitamin to manufacture) in the US, quoted $260 for 30 tablets, 750 milligrams total content. A kilo (1,000,000 mg) of leucovorin went for $22 last year. I would prefer oral leucovorin since the gastric system preferentially picks up the optically active levoleucovorin molecule, and infusion doesn't, not to mention the convenience and intrinsic safety aspects, oral vs IV. Doses are limited to oral tolerance but the first few milligrams are the most important for my wife (biomarker response).

Marianne313
Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2011

that there cannot be some sort of drug program that would allow those who have passed on with leftover meds, such as xeloda tablets, to donate them to others who cannot afford them. I know, I know, that's not legal, but it seems as though as long as it went through "someone" who could monitor the drugs, that it'd be much better to let someone who really needed them use them vs throwing the leftovers away!

just my 2 cents.

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 133
Joined: Dec 2010

So can you access these drugs from Asia? If so how? My husband was on 3300mg a day for 6 weeks straight and we paid about 1800.00 (50% co-pay) for a three week supply. I feel the drug worked very well and really wish he had stayed on it instead of 5-FU post surgery. This was ans option but due to the expense went with the 5-FU. Stephanie

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 946
Joined: Oct 2010

You might want a country contact, friends/family to get the local requirements for a visitor - local capecitabine prescription or not, quantity allowed per fill (more than 90 days max dose, boxes/cartons of 100s+) if even practically restricted, ongoing pick up for 90 day fills (US customs) for mail. Or visit/vacation. Figure carry one, slow mail one. ca $2000/mo price difference should allow many choices. Question might be what's available closer to home, in Latin or South America. Some places fill foreign prescriptions only within 24 hours of airplane departure. Do your homework first, as much as possible.

A lot of countries are more flexible than US if you have trusted friends/family to handle mail and money. We're getting like Nazi Germany - cartels, controls, and obedient little citizens for "your papers, uh, pleez" so some assumed obstacles may not be there.

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I posted this on another thread but am posting it here too.

I have been on phone and faxing etc. all day trying to get my chemo drugs after BCBS refused to cover Xeloda. A friend of mine sent me this article from the New York TImes that was published two days after the government announced the shortage of FU last Wednesday.

It's a shame that here in U.S. some suppliers are buying up all available leftovers to create more shortage and then sell their stockpiled supplies at at least 10 x the price. That is one of the three reasons the FDA gives to explain the sudden shortages of the most widely used cancer drugs in the article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/health/policy/20drug.html?_r=1&hp

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 946
Joined: Oct 2010

We need to shine a light on the antics, but I don't think new federal interventions are the real answer. The real problem appears to be the FDA, these situations were started years earlier.

A fourth cause of shortages:
The FDA's failure to approve UFT, a very easy to make generic pill, that should have displaced much IV 5FU use years ago in the US. UFT used well, such as CIM+UFT+PSK, even looks superior to capecitabine in a number of applications such as CA19-9 biomarked stage III CRC, and with leucovorin, some types of stage IV cases.

If the FDA won't allow necessary drugs brought to us, then we as intelligent consumers should go get them ourselves, cheaper and better. And reduce the FDA powers that shorten and interfere with our lives.

waterlog's picture
waterlog
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010

I'm on my third round of xeloda they cost it at 112 500mg pills for 2 weeks at $3100 x 8 cycles=$24800. My insurance pays $3000 per round and xeloda has a card that pays $70,so I have out of pocket of $30 for each of eight cycles. check out xeloda web site for details,
and harass bcbs as they can be real ass****

4

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks for the posts, all, I appreciate the info about your experiences with the cost of Xeloda.

I am growing very alarmed that I have not been able to get this worked out despite trying again all day. The reason for the severity of the unexpected shock of my Folfox chemo being cancelled last minute last Thursday (due to the new protocols for new patients to switch to Xelox)is that this is Week 11 post surgery for me for liver mets. All the research shows that chemotherapy is less effective if started after Week 12 post op. I need the chemo in my body within a week to be able to know that I've given treatment the best chances to work to fight my cancer.

If anything changes tomorrow and I am successful with either BCBS or the Genentech Access program I will be sure and post to let others know since I have a feeling others are going to get the same unexpected news at first-time chemo appointments this week.

K1

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Getting first Xelox chemo on Friday now. Big relief. Getting started just under the 12-week post-op deadline for starting chemo after liver resection for best results. I have coverage for first four weeks of Xelox and then will be reevaluated for Folfox if supplies of FU are steadier by then.

K1

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