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. Why is IVIG so expensive? 

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.

A patients report to help you all

Anyway 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.

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 >$60 per gram for liquid formulations and >$50 per gram for the powder formulation .  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.