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via IV for $2,000 a Visit!
My husband has received his first IV injection of Amevive, the cost
was outrageous. It was told to
us by a Biogen employee that the cost of the 12 week therapy would range
from $7,000-10,000. Well when
my husband returned for his 2nd injection the cost was going to be the
same: $2,000 per injection. Therefore
the total cost more than doubled.
Yes, we do have
insurance, but still have to pay 10% after our $500 deductible, this is
not including the doctor visits, IV supplies, and weekly lab work. What is
everyone else paying for their treatment?
I just don't understand how they can charge so much after Biogen
telling us this price range. Am
I missing something here? I
would appreciate someone to respond. Thanks,
Response: If you haven’t
already, Charlene, call the Amevive support line at 1-866-AMEVIVE and
share your concerns there. The
$2,000 per week (which means “per injection”) you’re being quoted is
the highest I’ve heard (I’ve heard from $1,000-$1,500 prior to this
news) and it does sound outrageous.
For those who
don’t know, a course of Amevive is given by intramuscular injection or
IV, in a doctor’s office, weekly for 12 weeks.
The cost quoted to Charlene and her husband by Biogen — around
$10,000 — would price the weekly or per-injection cost at $833.33.
It sounds like this individual may have been quoting a
price-to-the-physician for IM administration, not IV (i.e., wholesale for
the least expensive delivery mode).
participating dermatologists are allowed to tack on their service charges
in accordance with their policies and their market.
I’d expect to pay more in NYC than in Lexington, Kentucky (for
example). There may also be a
difference between IV and intramuscular injection procedures that effects
Have you or your husband asked your derm about intramuscular
injection versus IV?) Lab work
usually is a separate charge (at least that’s been my experience), but
if a doctor adds a separate line item for “office visit,” and the
price for the Amevive administration is considerably over $1,000 by
itself, I’d say they’re pulling a fast one.
If my doctor
charges over $1,500 per week during the 12 week course, I am going to call
the Amevive hotline and ask about other derms in my area.
I’ll call around and do some price shopping.
The thing is,
Amevive administration may be somewhat novel in the dermatology trade, but
it’s not rocket science. The
derms deserve to be compensated for their time and overhead, but turning
this treatment into a “windfall for the practice” is out of order. -Ed