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is IVIG so expensive?
I feel good
enough after the infusion, which only takes 2 1/2 hours for
me, to go shopping.Then I go home and take my anti
histamine and crash. After waking up from Atarax, I feel
pretty normal through noon on Friday when the headache
creeps in.So I start slamming Advil. I take one and see
if it kills the headache. If not I take another. Usually 1
will keep it tolerable.
About half the times I get a fever, what we refer to as IVIG
flu and slam more Advil.
If my core temp climbs over 100 for any length of time, I
melt. My legs give out completely, I end up on the floor and
can't get up without help. Nerves just quit sending signals
to my legs.
I always feel lethargic and fluey through Sunday mid
afternoon. Then just when I want give it all up, the
symptoms lift all at once and my energy comes roaring back.
I can function well on Monday and by Tuesday, I feel great
and function almost as well as a non MS/Lyme person for the
next 5 1/2 weeks when the overwhelming fatigue rolls over me
again and I know I am ready for my next infusion.
When I started in April 2009, I went two days a week, then
once a week, once every two weeks and gradually worked to
once every 6 weeks. So my costs have dropped over the years
and should end up at once a quarter for life.
The brand I take is Carimune, which has sugar (dextrose or
sucrose, not sure which) and costs about $3000.00 per
treatment including all the premeds, lab tests, infusion
costs, supplies and so forth.
Cost wise, IVIG is comparable to the MS drugs. They all cost
$30,000 a year and up.
IVIG sure beats an injection every day, or every three days,
or once a week plus flu like symptoms, permanent welts on
your skin or an infusion that ends up with possible PML, a
deadly brain infection, or a pill that causes heart issues
and so forth.
The risks of IVIG are pretty low for me since I am not
diabetic, have excellent kidney and liver function.[. At
the time of this trial, the average price of IVIg in the
U.S. was approximately $30 per gram .
In the decade following this study, prices for IVIg
increased to >$70 per gram for liquid formulations and >$60
per gram for the powder formulation
(Cariimmune) . Additional supply pressures
result from steadily increasing clinical demands for the
off-label use of IVIg at a rate of 5-10% annually .
During these periods, IVIg prices have risen more than 20%
and as of April 2010, the average price for liquid
formulations of IVIg had increased to $70.22 per gm.
During this same time, human serum albumin (HSA) prices
averaged $30 for a 250 ml bottle. HSA prices reached a low
in 2004-2005 and were less than one-half the1999 price in
2007. As of April 2010, the price of a 250 ml bottle of 5%
HSA was $34.06.
IVIg is obtained from plasma, donors are paid then the
plasma is sent to a processing centers for mixing,
antibody removal, chemical treatment and filtration to
remove viruses. This is followed by the products
to be freeze dried. All this ends up for IVIG to be priced
at $ 48 to $ 68 a gram. A single IVIg infusion costs about
$3000 for a child and 10,000 for an adult. For a child the
cost of IVIg is low because only a few grams are used. The
price of IVIg in India is $25 a gram. In Pakistan IVIg costs
20 a gram. IVIg can be bought from China at 45-10 A Gram.
In USA a sucrose IVIg can be bought for
$60 and non Sucrose IVIG for $70 with all supplies and nurse.
A patients report to help you allAnyway I get infused on a
Thursday with premeds that include Toredol (anti
inflammatory NSAID) and Zofran for nausea.
Most people get Benedryl, but I am allergic to it, so I wait
till I get home and take hydroxyzine (Atarax) which knocks
me out for a few hours, but prevents allergic reaction which
I have never had, thank goodness.I plan nothing for the
weekend but heavy drinking...water, water and more water.
Staying hydrated is crucial. And I sleep a lot.Over the
years I've been on IVIG, the pattern of side effects is the
same, just a bit different in intensity and timing from
batch to batch.