Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

I can't afford Isentress anymore... drop it? switch?

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blue1:
I've been on Truvada + darunavir/ritonavir + Isentress since July 2012 without any side effects and a dramatic decrease in VL (66000 down to 73 in 1 month) and jump in CD4.

I live in Australia but do not qualify for medicare here, so I have to buy the meds online.  The cost per pill is roughly:
Truvada = $2.60
Darunavir = $2.60 (300mg so I need 3 per day)
Ritonavir = $1.60
Isentress = $10.00 (I need 2 per day)

The strain of HIV I have has a potential partial resistance to Tenofovir (in the Truvada).

Buying everything online costs me about $950 per month.  If I were to drop Isentress from my regimen it would only be $333 per month.  So, as you can see the Isentress is very expensive and I just don't know if I can afford it.

But, can I afford NOT to take it???  That is the question I ask to you all.  I was told this combo is a little bit overkill anyway, so perhaps dropping Isentress would have no effect, especially if I'm already undetectable.  Truvada + daurunaivr/ritonavir could be sufficient even if I have potential partial resistance to tenofovir?

Or instead of just dropping Isentress, perhaps there is something I could replace it with that doesn't cost so much?

Thanks :)

Miss Philicia:
"overkill" would be relative -- in an ordinary patient yes, but I will assume that your resistance profile leads your doctor to have you on one extra HIV med in addition to a standard HAART one. fyi, that's what my situation is and I'm on exactly the same combo that you have been put on.

At any rate you should be discussing this with your doctor, not people on the internet who don't have access to your most current geno/phenotype lab test.

blue1:
Thanks for the reply :)  Yeah, I do discuss with my doctor as well..but doesn't hurt to ask around.  And some of the people on these forums have been around long enough to know just as much as many doctors. 

I gather information from every source and weight its validity according to the source ;)

leatherman:
do you not have access to insurance and co-pay assistance?

Miss Philicia:
His older posts indicate he's a US citizen living/working in Australia, and one of the conditions for working there was that he have private insurance.

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