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Update on Remicade Success
from Jason P.

Ed, I sent you an email over a year ago about my initial success with Remicade and wanted to give you a quick update (see Remicade — His Miracle). 

Remicade continues to work wonders for me.  I am currently having infusions every 8 weeks and, as a result, my skin has remained about 99.5% clear for quite some time.  (For some reason there are always one or two little spots that never go away.)  To top it off, I'm not paying a dime for it.

My doctor and I have now successfully convinced three different insurance companies (changed insurance companies a number of times due to job/benefits changes) to incur the cost of the infusions.  One thing that has helped immensely was the fact that my doctor documented results of my first experience with Remicade using before and after photographs.  We have since been providing this documentation to insurance companies when applying for Remicade approval, and it has worked like a charm.  I guess it's hard for them to justify a denial with such compelling evidence.  Hopefully, Remicade will be FDA approved for psoriasis sometime soon so that I don't have to go through the whole pre-approval process again the next time I change insurance companies. 

Anyway, that's my update....  and by the way, I have experienced no ill effects thus far from my use of Remicade.

Thanks for all you hard work in maintaining this site for all of us.  Take Care. -Jason P.


Ed’s Response:  Thank YOU, Jason, for providing the follow-up.  When Remicade gets approved — and that won’t be long, now — you shouldn’t be surprised if, on behalf of many readers, I get back in touch with you for the names of your insurance companies.

So far, insurance companies in general have been pretty responsive to the biologics.  I’m sure this has a lot to do with the fact that the manufacturers have gone out of their way to assist patients.  Whether or not the trend will continue is another matter.  I know that if I were an insurance company, as the number of members I covered to take biologics increased I’d start to put pressure on the manufacturers to lower charges.  Over the next few years there’s likely to be some sort of “shake out” among the “big four” biologics — Amevive, Enbrel, Raptiva, Remicade — and there will be some sort of line-up in order of effectiveness (i.e., ratio of worked/didn’t work cases for each).  If they happen to line up alphabetically — meaning Amevive has the best performance and Remicade the worst (this is all hypothetical!) — I would ask my attending physicians to try the biologics on their flakers “in the order of effectiveness.”  Then I’d turn to the most effective drug manufacturer and really push for price relief.   Ironically, it would probably be the manufacturer at the wrong end of the line-up who is most receptive to discounting.  (In our caveat emptor marketplace, everyone can’t win on quality, ergo price is used to compel market share.  And some insurers will tell their docs, “Try the cheapest first — make sure it won’t work before you move up to the more expensive brands.”)

I hope Remicade continues to perform well for you, Jason.  And please do stay in touch.  You’re our furthermost scout in an exciting new frontier.  -Ed

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