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Author Topic: Cost of Atripla going up?  (Read 5442 times)

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Offline justaguy

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Cost of Atripla going up?
« on: March 09, 2012, 01:31:08 AM »
I'm on a state run high risk insurance pool, which is administered by Blue Cross.   It's like a traditional individual insurance plan, but it's for people like us with nasty pre-existing conditions.  I was previously on a small group plan with an employer, but left that company 18 months ago to start my own business, so I had to come up with my own insurance.  It's worked out pretty well so far! 

Anyway, I only have to pay $20 per month as a copay for my Atripla, but I always look at the "your insurance saved you $xxxx.xx" on the receipt - and it's gone up substantially in the last year.  A few months ago I calculated that a 30 day supply was somewhere around $1800, but with my most recent refill it's up to $2300??  It's not costing any more out of my pocket, but I definitely hate that it's costing someone that much, even if it is an insurance company, because that money ultimately means higher premiums for all of us.  Anyone know why the cost has jumped up over 25% in a year?  When is Atripla going to go generic?
Estimated infection: 3/2008
Tested HIV positive: 3/31/2009
CD4 136/unknown %/VL 150,000: 4/6/2009
Started Atripla 4/17/2009
CD4 255/19%/VL 409 5/27/2009
CD4 247/??/VL 161 6/27/2009
CD4 257/21%/VL 60 7/22/2009
CD4 352/22%/VL Undetectable 10/21/2009
CD4 490/27%/VL Undetectable 2/15/2010
CD4 397/?/VL Undetectable 7/2/2010

Offline vaboi

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 07:33:07 PM »
I don't think it's costing the insurance company anything more.  Most of these 'high-risk pool' insurance options are federally/state funded, most recently through the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  So it's the government footing the bill, not really the insurance.   And even if it is the insurance buying the drugs, they aren't actually paying that price stated on the receipt.  They have their own deals setup.  That is the retail price you'd allegedly have to pay if you walked up without insurance and tried to buy it.

Offline drewm

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 08:35:58 PM »
My receipt in Texas says $2,270.00
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

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Offline Pilot

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 01:26:12 PM »

The closer a drug comes to its patent ending and generics can be made the price seems to go up. They make as much as they can and from what I have read there is a generic coming for Atripla but has not hit the market yet.  I would hazard a guess that it will slowly drop down. 

Offline vaboi

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 04:12:20 AM »
Based on this article:
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_atripla_generic_1667_17106.shtml

Atripla's patent expires in 2017.  However, it does have a generic and it is produced in India.  However because of how U.S. Patent laws allow big Pharma to work in cahoots with the major insurance providers to rip off the American public, the drug is not allowed for shipment into industrialized nations.  One must find a source for it overseas and convince them to "secretly" mail it to get around all that BS... sort of like the concept of having to find a Canadian mail order pharmacy to get anything at a decent price.  I'm sure there are a lot of black-market sites online that have the generic Atripla.  But unfortunately, due to the nature of the transaction, it can't be regulated in anyway, so you can never be sure of what you are actually getting.  And heaven forbid, if you do try it out, do not give them your phone number.  You'll forever get calls from shady pharmacies trying to sell you viagra, and other drugs, along with the occasional scammer trying to steal your identity, oh and don't forget the so-called charity calling themselves your local police department asking for a donation.  lol.. and it's impossible to get a phone number off that black-market telemarketer list once it is on it.

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 02:10:21 AM »
Are you sure that date is correct?  I think that is the date the three individual meds lose patent exclusivity, but not the combined pill.

This is a paragraph from Gilead investor letter that includes expiration dates:

Viread, the Gilead-patented trade name of Tenofovir, is Gileadís heart Ė it is the essential blocker of reverse transcriptase, a critical enzyme in viral production in HIV patients. It is the key ingredient of Truvada (a fixed dose combination of Viread and another antiviral, emtricitabine) and Atripla (a once daily pill), and its effectiveness is the root of Gileadís success in the HIV drug market. Once Vireadís patents expire in 8 years, the ANDA approved generics and the other large pharmaceuticals will have a huge advantage and Gilead stands to lose a huge market share. These generics will not be threats until each patent expires in the US and Europe: Viread: US in 2017, Europe in 2018; Truvada: US in 2021, Europe in 2018; and Atripla: US in 2021, Europe in 2018. However, the expiration of Viread will be a mortal wound unless Gilead can move on to other profitable drugs by then.
http://www.investorguide.com/article/6616/is-there-a-balm-in-gilead-gild-gild/

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 02:58:28 AM »
Gilead is already working on what is called a "prodrug" of tenofovir (GS-7340), which is more potent enabling it to be used at a much lower dose, assuming with less likelihood of having bone density and/or kidney issues.
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Offline vaboi

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 10:09:17 PM »
Yeah I read that too and wasn't surprised.  I bet they had no problem "shelving" research on that new and better prodrug years ago while selling Viread knowing full well they'd need a new replacement drug once the patient on Viread expired.  That's how these drug companies operate.  Here everyone likely had to live with a less effective, more toxic version of the drug because of a company's motivation to continue to make money on it longer in the future.  They knew this prodrug was better, yet they did nothing with it until now?  it just sounds suspicious to me.

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 08:18:09 PM »
Yeah I read that too and wasn't surprised.  I bet they had no problem "shelving" research on that new and better prodrug years ago while selling Viread knowing full well they'd need a new replacement drug once the patient on Viread expired.  That's how these drug companies operate.  Here everyone likely had to live with a less effective, more toxic version of the drug because of a company's motivation to continue to make money on it longer in the future.  They knew this prodrug was better, yet they did nothing with it until now?  it just sounds suspicious to me.

I've probably linked this before but it's about the patent expiring on prilosec and exactly what AstraZeneca did in order to maintain their profits on it.

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/10/25/041025crat_atlarge

Patents bedamned!

Offline Ann

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 07:12:07 AM »
I've probably linked this before but it's about the patent expiring on prilosec and exactly what AstraZeneca did in order to maintain their profits on it.

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/10/25/041025crat_atlarge

Patents bedamned!

I get the feeling you didn't read all five pages of that article. It is a very interesting analysis of how it's not only Big Pharma to blame for the high costs of meds - but you seem to have only read the first page. Regardless, thanks for the link. It's a good read and much food for thought.
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Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 08:42:48 AM »
I get the feeling you didn't read all five pages of that article. It is a very interesting analysis of how it's not only Big Pharma to blame for the high costs of meds - but you seem to have only read the first page. Regardless, thanks for the link. It's a good read and much food for thought.

I read the article years ago.  I know it's not Big Pharma alone but a string of things.  The doctor prescribing and suggesting the drugs, the fact that the US subsidizes drugs for basically the rest of the world, and a host of other things.  Most important though is the fact that the drug company recognizes that these two drugs are basically identical yet marketed slightly differently and with a 3% increase in what it was "designed differently" to improve.  This was done so they could extend their patent and only to extend their patent.

Offline sanjuanboy

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Re: Cost of Atripla going up?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2012, 06:29:30 PM »
I noticed that if I had to pay for my Atripla the price would be $2262.00-Needless to say, if I had to buy out, I would go without.

 


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