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cost of anti-nausea meds vs benefit

jennN's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Oct 2009


I was just put on a new anti-nausea med called (Emend)sp? Anyway, I was SHOCKED at the price. I have really decent insurance and all my meds have only been a dollar or two. My cost was $54.00 for 2 pills! WOW..that is expensive. I hope it works. I was soooooo sick for the first week. It would be worth the money to feel better. Has anyone else used this med and had success? I'm supposed to keep taking my other anti-nausea med too.



Posts: 44
Joined: Oct 2009

wow thatis costly. my friendis on it and it helped her, she got real sick after her first chemo treatment. I took compazine and was fine with that. Drinking a ton of water walking and taking the meds beforeI felt sick helped.

mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Jen, that's how much my pills were, too. I took them all and they helped, although I still got a little nauseated. I know it sucks, but it's worth it if you don't get sick. Cancer is expensive, isn't it? The only good thing is that eventually you will max out your yearly catastrophic out-of-pocket amount and pay nothing. I hit my $5000 mark a few months ago, and I pay nothing, even for expensive prescriptions now. Good luck. There may be programs available if you cannot afford your medications. Ask your oncology social worker or pharmacist.


jennN's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually don't have a hard-ship. I was just surprised at the cost. I really appreciate you thinking of me though.

Aortus's picture
Posts: 967
Joined: Jan 2009

Moopster's insurance paid $300 for each round of Emend, leaving us to pay $94. The first round was on the house. For her sixth (and final) round of TAC, she took her Emend assuming she would be over and done. But we wound up postponing the sixth infusion for four days because Moopy had some shortness of breath and some scans had to be done. Which meant, of course, that we had to buy an extra round of Emend.

By this time, Moopy and I were true believers. If we hadn't had the #$400 to pay out of pocket, I would have hung around the Walgreens and done odd jobs - janitor, checkout boy, pharmacist - until I got it paid off. I think Moopy coaxed the insurance into paying for it anyway.

BlownAway60's picture
Posts: 848
Joined: Nov 2009

I have not been paying for any of my Meds since July. The Cancer Clinic that I am going to is also thinking ahead and had a Financial Counselor speak to us before my first chemo about next year when the deductible resets. They have a program that they are offering to help defer some of the expenses. They are working up a cost estimate for me to see if I will be able to afford it, if not I am surely going to accept their offer for assistance.
Gotta do whatever it takes to get through this and one less stressful thing would be great.


e_hope's picture
Posts: 371
Joined: Sep 2009

I had that with my first 4 chemo treatments... and I had barely any nausea... have you contacted ACS... they will help with cost of meds up to $300.oo (or mileage reimbursement up to $300) ... I would also take to your oncologist .. ask if they have samples... it's really expensive meds but does work ...

dyaneb123's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: May 2009

Hey Jen
My Emend cost $75.00 a pop! NY onco nurse noticed how high it was and started slipping me samles they were getting from the pharmecy reps. Ask your nurses if they have any samples.

Marlene_K's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: Jul 2009

I am just beginning chemo next week and I just can NOT believe that these pharmaceutical companies would take advantage of chemo patients. Come On! What could possibly be in these pills that could make them so expensive... other than supply & demand and knowing how well they work to make cancer patients feel better. I am truly APPALLED!

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Marlene.......sadly, that's a drop in the bucket compared to what is to come....The Neulasta injection that a lot off us receive the day after chemo.......one injection is $6,000.00 Yes, thats $6000.00! I had 4......one of my chemo drugs, Taxotere is almost $6000.00....That's just one of the chemo drugs.....it is appalling but I am grateful they exist....I never took the antinausea drug EMEND(sp)....I had 4 others that were like $10.00 for 30 each.......I never had the first wave of nausea... THE TRICK to ALL/ANY of the antinausea meds is to take them on a regular basis whether you feel nauseated or not......easier to prevent nausea than get it under control, according to my oncologist......I started them the day before chemo and continued for 5 days afterwards, NEVER missing a dose....And I ate before each chemo and they actually fed us DURING chemo...I ate a half a bagel with peanut butter, beforehand.....they said to eat something that would "stick to my ribs." Then drink, drink, drink during and after chemo.....

I wish you all the best in your upcoming treatments.......
Peace be with you!

lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

Yep. Emend is way worth it. What boggled my mind was the cost of Neulasta. Whew!

e_hope's picture
Posts: 371
Joined: Sep 2009

I was just thinking that ... Emend is about 800 for 6 pills... neulasta was close to 12,000 for 1 shot... thankfully my insurance covered the neulasta 100% and only had to pay $75. for the emend

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9087
Joined: Aug 2009

It is absolutely worth every penny of my out of the pocket expense of $60.00 co-pay. My pharmacy is charging my insurance - $600.00 every 3 weeks for my Emend medication. I am happy to report, that I HAVE NOT been sick to my stomach - at all.

Wow e-hope .. Neulasta is $12,000.00 per shot .. I did not know this ... I have 1 neulasta shot with every TCH chemo .. for a total of 6 ... this is crazy .... white cell build up shot for $12K ... I am in SHOCK ..

I agree 100% with Marlene .. chemo treatments are hard to take, but to have companies take advantage of us and insurance agencies - gives me the willy's. Getting rich off of sick patients ... Someone should call 60 mintues - or a customer watch group.

Still in shock over the neulast price,


Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

$12,000 per Neulasta shot! Wonder how much of that cost goes to the facility giving it and what the actual cost of it is? At that price, I definately understand why VA had me drive the 35 miles to Ft. Meade (SD) VA for it instead of just going in town to the CCI. (Cost me $8.00 per shot.)

Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2009

Yes it was worth the cost. Here in Los Angeles, it ran around $600 for the 3 pills. My insurance approved of it for my second treatment, as none of the other drugs worked. However after that treatment it was refused. My Onc worked around it and I was able to get my three pills. He ordered it to be administered along with my chemo. So my first pill was taken an hour before my chemo started. The second pill was given to me at the same time I received my Nuelasta shot (day 2) and then I had to make the trip to the hospital on day 3 for my last pill. The insurance company put me out a great deal by not allowing an RX approval. However I am sure it cost them far more by having it administered in the hospital infusement department.

Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

They are worth every penny. Don't remember the exact name of mine, but it was about 78 bucks for 2 but I was only to take one! Ironic. They say to take the meds as soon as you begin feeling ill as it is very difficult to stop vomiting once it begins! Good Luck.

pinkkari09's picture
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

I had to pay $75.00 out of pocket for my emend, I took it for my first 4 rounds of chemo, I just finished this week. It worked REALLY well and was worth every penny. I hope it's working well for you also. I'm glad that my next 12 rounds of chemo don't require it because it is so expensive, but that's the thing, all the good stuff is high priced. I didn't qualify, but there is a site called needymeds.org that has an application and emend is one of the meds they help with, check it out, the income level is pretty high and you can still get it.
Good luck

lolad's picture
Posts: 671
Joined: Jun 2009

I wasnt on that med. They had me on zofran and compazine. I just wanted to share that i think its a total outrage that these insurance companies have such control and say so over what we need. Its disgusting you had to pay that much for two pills. They should not be allowed to charge that much for something needed for people in treatments or anyone. Man that just p-sses me off!!! Hope it will at least help you. It better help you.

Take care

lanie940's picture
Posts: 492
Joined: Jul 2009

Zofran worked well for me to counteract the nausea from morphine after my surgery.

Akiss4me's picture
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

I was on Dilauted (SP?) after surgery and they gave me IV Zofran with it. I was still slightly nauseated the first night, but after that it worked fine. By day two, I asked to be switched to a milder pain killer (darvocet) and stop the IV pain killer. I was developing a migrain headache from it. I continued the Zofran until the day I left, which was 4 days later. Pammy

natly15's picture
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sep 2009

Expensive Cancer with a Capital E. Expensive is an understatement!! I'm taking Zofran but it gives me a headache and it didnt do it for me this last round. I had nasuea for 8 straight days. I called my onc for something else. Walgreens didnt even have the new pill in stock. Each pill was $232. My insurance would only approve 2 pills. When I get them, I'll keep them for my next round on 11/17. I dont recall the name, but it is not Emend. As expensive as it is, take the anti nausea meds. I cant even imagine what it would be like without them. My onc nurse told me to keep on taking them until I felt better, she actually begged me to do so. She said stay on top of it, because once you get sick there is no going back. I agree with Marlene, what could possibly be in these medications to create such exhorbitant prices?? I wanted to do my neulasta shot at home, but decided to travel the distance to the cancer center after finding out it would cost me $150 out of pocket for each neulasta shot given at home. I'm just so greatful I have insurance.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

It was protocol at my hospital Amend, zofran, decadron orally by mouth just prior to treatment then amend for two days with dcadron for 3 days, zofran and ativan, compazine as needed. I cant take compazine, zofran made me constipated so if you have issues with that make a plan, ativan helped alot.
we got a bill for neulasta 10,400 dollars. we pay the copa i thank God everyday for good health insurance. I had botox (not for a good reason) 640.00 doallars per shot. I did not have prior authorization and trust me I didnt care (pain) and will file paper work to try to recoup.
I have extra amend because I broke a pill packet had to buy a whole new one because they dont come in singles I wonder how I could give it to someone? I just started the taxol and am not aking it.

mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Carkris, sometimes if you take it back to the oncologist's office or to your pharmacy, they can make it available for people who don't have insurance or can't afford the co-pay.
Someone suggested that to me on this site and that's what I'm doing with all my extra pills.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I tried them all... Emend included...bummed me out when I had paid so much co-pay, and it ended up in the toilet when I 'lost my cookies'.

I drank ginger ale (sipped, really), sucked on licorice drops...the dutch have used these for years for upset tummies...always kept a little 'something' in my stomach...

Hugs, Kathi

mcsessions's picture
Posts: 48
Joined: Sep 2009

My Mom is getting her treatment in Mexico and she takes Emend too, 3 pills with each treatment and it costs her about $100 dlls for the three pills. No insurance.

padee6339's picture
Posts: 765
Joined: Jun 2009

I took Emend also and paid about $25 for 2 or three pills on my insurance. They were worth it whatever the price. Its a shame they are so expensive, I cannot imagine how someone with no insurance would be able to pay for them. While on them the first few days after chemo, I never got sick to my stomach. They were great!

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