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Tarceva in Ontario\Canada

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Hi,
Just wondering if anyone has gone throught the process of trying to get Tarceva in Canada. Our Oncologist wrote to the ministry of Health stating that the 1st line had failed and he is reccommending Tarceva. He said the wait for a response could be 2-4 weeks. Is this the normal procedure in Canada?
Thanks,
Joey

ernrol's picture
ernrol
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2006

Joey,

If I was in your situation, I would get the Tarceva and start taking it now and try to get reimbursed for it later. It cost about $2500 for a one months supply. I would also contact Genentech and explain your situation and see if they have any suggestion for you. I would start taking it ASAP. I have been on Tarceva since August 2005 and have been cancer free since November 2005. I have no bad side effects. I take a lot of supplements and try to eat a good diet You can type ernrol in the search box at top of screen, then click on any place you see ernrol to the right of screen. This will take you to my web page. If you would like more info about the things I did let me know, and I can e-mail them. Below is a statement I took from the Tarceva web site, I would phone them as soon as you can. This may not be the right contact, but I am sure they can direct you to the right place to go for help. The sooner you get on the Tarceva, the sooner it can start to work.

Stay positive,
Ernie

The Genentech Access to Care Foundation (GATCF) program was created to help qualified uninsured patients or those deemed uninsured due to payor denial receive assistance in obtaining medications marketed by Genentech.

To contact GATCF by mail, phone or fax:

Genentech Access to Care Foundation
1 DNA Way, MS #210
South San Francisco, CA 94080
(800) 530-3083
FAX: (650) 225-1366

itrustgod
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2006

Hello Joey,

I'm sorry to hear about the progress of the chemo treatment. My mom is currently taking tarceva and she has just passed her fourth month of taking it. So far, her scans have been showing good improvement, thank God. The pills come from the British Columbia Cancer Society and we have not had any problems with obtaining them.

Maybe you can refer your onc to talk to BC Cancer because my mom's onc mentioned that there are quite a few people from other provinces who are relying on BC Cancer to get the tarceva (erlotinib) pills.

Hope that helps. Keep in mind that your family is in my prayers.

God bless you.

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi joey5150,

I'm glad you started this thread. I was clueless about the cost of Tarceva and how insurance covered it. When I asked about it awhile back, I didn't get any response. So I did some research when open enrollment began on switching Medicare plans.

I found out that several Medigap insurance cover Tarceva under the Medicare part D coverage. But most have a co-payment of at least 20%, with some of 1/3. With a cost of up to $8,000 for a month's supply of Tarceva (I think I checked at a dosage of 150mg), that is still a steep cost. But what is the price of life, right? On the other hand, it's enough battling cancer to be stressed out over affording costs.

I have learned from Genentech's site that they will send free Tarceva who have no insurance coverage for the drug. You and the doctor have to send in an application. In reading personal testimonies, I've learned more that Genentech will not accept your request if you have any drug coverage due to some compliance with government rule. You have to have no drug coverage before they will send you free supplies of Tarceva.

Having said all of that, I don't know anyone personally on Tarceva and how much they pay for it. With your in Canada, I'm not sure how different the rules apply.

Good luck.

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Thanks for all the replies! I've been battling with my father's ONC and long story short when I first asked about Tarceva he said it was not approved in Canada.....I replied with is it not approved as a 2nd line of treatment and he replied NO actually it's a 3rd. All reports show its FDA approved as a 2nd line. I've talked to a radioligist, and 2 ONC in OTTawa and radioligist talked to me with a smile and I could not understand a word he said to me....He refused to do anymore radiation on my father especially the MIRT. DO NOT LOOK IN OTTAWA CANADA FOR CANCER CARE!!!!! THANKS for the stories of support!!!!!

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Just an update we've gone from not not approved in Ottawa Canada to he is supplying us with a 10 supply until we get offcial word from Health (Joke) Canda. I wasn't their but I would have love to question him about this. HE COULD HAVE STARTED THIS & DAYS AGO!!!!nWOW, I'm realising if you make enough noise in OTTAWA Canada you may get a response....

mom101
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2006

Joey, I'm in Ottawa also. Just saw my daughter's onc two days ago. Asked about using Tarceva as a second line now...he said it will take up to 10 days to 2 weeks to get approval. What did you do to get it faster??

Linda

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Hi Linda,
We ended up telling my dad's ONC that we wanted a perscription to purchase the Tarceva. they said they would try and find a 10 day trial of the drug in the hospital. we were told that if they could not find the trial they would write the perscription. Please ask if they can find a 10 day Trial!
I have to say that although I am frustrated. Some of the ONC and all the Nurses have been amazing!

My prayers are with your daughter.
Joey

mom101
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2006

Thanks Joey, I'll call tomorrow and see what I can find out. A little background as to why I'm here....my daughter...my 18 yr old daughter was diagnosed in June,on her Highschool graduation day with stage iv nsclc. Actually with neuroendocrine carcinoma...with the lung being the over 90% suspected primary. A child...a nonsmoker...with a backache and this is what we found out...it's almost still too hard to believe!!! My prayers are with you and your father, and with everyone else going through this.

Linda

mom101
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2006

Just to update, we got the funding approved and are picking up the Tarceva tonight. Please everyone let me know how it works in your cases too.
Thanks, Linda

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

That is awesome news!!!
Just curious what did they say about the trial, because we still have not received a reply.

another note does anyone know whether Tarceva should be handled without latex gloves?

mom101
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2006

Not part of a trial, like you said before....it's a second line treatment. They didnt mention anything about using gloves to touch it. When my daughter was in the hospital last summer though on iv chemo...they'd come in dressed like welders/astronauts to give her her chemo. Makes you feel real safe doesn't it?

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Just an update...My Dad is hanging in, but he has good days and bad. He has been on the Tarceva for 3 weeks now and their has not been any great improvement. Lung is the primary site and the cancer in his head and liver are causing the problems. The Oncologist does not recommend any more Chemo as he is too weak, and the radiaoligist says he does not want to do anymore radiation because the brain can only take so much...he has only had 5 sessions on the head though. Anyway, I'm tired of asking questions to doctors and always being shot down.
All the best

mom101
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2006

My daughter, Dana, passed away on Jan 27th. Seven months to the day of her diagnosis. Like your father Joey, the liver and brain were her hot spots, and the cancer in the brain grew wildly in a matter of weeks. I wish the best for everyone on here. I will continue to pray for all of you.

Linda

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

I'm so sorry! My sincere condolences...My father just passed March 21st (1st day of spring) I'm happy his suffering has ended but so so so sad that he is not here anymore. I will see you again papa.....God Bless Linda and all my prayers all.
Joey

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Sorry for the rant ... needed to vent

oneagleswings
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Joey:
Rant all you want..cancer care in Canada is awful- we are on par with third world countries--write your MP and MPP...the more noise we all make- the more chance we have of approval for drugs that other countries approve of BECAUSE THEY WORK...it boggles mind that our elected officals try to play God ...
Good luck with the tarceva.
Bev

joey5150
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2006

Thank you Bev!!!! We need change !!!!!

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