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Humira Trial Was Successful
from Alexandra T.

Hi, Ed:  I just wanted to respond to a letter asking for experiences with Humira. 

I started on a Humira clinical trial in September 2003.  I have had severe psoriasis for all of my adult life (I am now 55).  No therapy had ever worked for me until 2002, when my dermatologist started me on Soriatane combined with UVB.  After 3 months I was 75% cleared, but ultimately the side effects (bleeding lips, nose bleeds and pyogenic granulomas) made it impossible to continue. 

My doctor then offered me an opportunity to participate in a new clinical trial using Humira.  I accepted and started with weekly subcutaneous injections (self-administered).  Everyone on this trial was guaranteed to get the real drug for the first twelve weeks.  Incredibly, within a month my psoriasis had completely cleared with no side effects! 

I am now on the second half of the trial, with the injections biweekly and a 50% possibility of getting a placebo, but so far I remain completely clear.  Unfortunately, the trial ends in March, and I’m not sure what I will do then.  I heard that Raptiva (a biologic drug similar to Humira) is now FDA approved for psoriasis.  Have you heard anything about insurance reimbursement for this drug? -Sandy T.

*****

Hi Sandy:  So far all the manufacturers of the biologics approved for P have been good about helping patients obtain insurance coverage.  Nothing is for certain, of course, but if you can get your Dr. to prescribe Raptiva, he can get the ball rolling at Genentech to get approval from your insurance company.  Here's the specific page at raptiva.com that informs the Dr. about the process:

http://www.raptiva.com/hp_sec2_01.jsp

Please keep us apprised of your decisions and your progress.  Your Humira trial results give us hope that you are a highly likely candidate for the biologics at large.  Hopefully Raptiva will perform similarly for you. -Ed

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