Cost of Stelara

** Originally posted by Oz **

I was on vacation when I found out about Stelara being approved. I was actually looking forward to the vacation ending so I could research this since I was away from a computer. :P

About 2 (maybe 3?) years ago I got a prescription for Enbrel but couldn't pursue since the cost was $1400 per month. Toooooo much money.

I heard about these injections every 12 weeks and thought.. how expensive could that be to something that needed to be injected daily? Then I saw "generic: ustekinumab".. it even has a generic equivalent already?

Anyway.. anyone know the approximate annual cost of Stelara?

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** Originally posted by Oz **

Did some searching.. found this about page 4 of a google search for "cost of Stelara"

"The annual cost of treatment with Stelara® is approximately $18,200 to $33,600, depending on whether the 45 mg or 90 mg dose is used."

seriously? I'm hoping someone has a real world experience that counters this. With 2 injections and then one every 12 weeks.. that's.. $4300 per shot?

sigh..

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** Originally posted by Oz **

Called my dermatologist who suggested I check with the pharmacist. Called 2 pharmacists and they have no pricing info yet. Said it takes about 2 weeks to get that in their system. : /

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** Originally posted by mstaylor **

Called my dermatologist who suggested I check with the pharmacist. Called 2 pharmacists and they have no pricing info yet. Said it takes about 2 weeks to get that in their system. : /

I read some place that they have agreed to keep the cost the same for people weighing more and needing two injections at a time. In the long run it's less expensive than the current TNFs per year. I'm sure they will have patient assisantce programs in place for the people needing it.
My derm sees 100 + psoriasis patients a month and has several on bio drugs, he works close with the Bio Reps. I will see him on Thurs to get the process started I'll get what information I can from him and post what I find out. Have a good day.

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** Originally posted by Linda **

There's nothing out there to suggest that Stelara will be less expensive in the long run then Humira or other TNFs..my derm has told me that Humira costs about $15000 per year, so based on the info above, that would make Stelara considerably more expensive both per year and per shot. You could argue that Stelara will be more expensive in the long run since from what we know now, it doesnt treat PsA. That would mean additional therapies added to Stelara to protect the joints as your disease progresses.

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** Originally posted by Oz **

Stelara doesn't help PA? Perhaps it isn't noted as the drug makers weren't trying to get it approved through the FDA for that purpose. If PA is caused by the same thing as Psoriasis than it only sounds logical to think that it would also help PA. Limiting the scope of the drug to just psoriasis was probably all that was needed since those with PA typically (what, 100% of the time) also have psoriasis?

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** Originally posted by drizzit **

In the clinical trial on PA stelara looks to be about as effective as a TNF .

Here is a clip Petey posted earlier on a phase 2 study just completed

The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9664, Pages 633 - 640, 21 February 2009

BOSTON (Feb. 11, 2009) – A group of patients suffering from potentially debilitating psoriatic arthritis showed significant and prolonged improvement after treatment with ustekinumab, according to data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in patients with moderate to severe psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The Phase 2 study was published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

"This is a positive development for patients living with the joint pain and swelling that characterizes the disease, even as more research is needed to further test the efficacy of this treatment in psoriatic arthritis," said Alice Gottlieb, MD, Chairperson of the Department of Dermatology at Tufts Medical Center and lead author of the study.

Tufts Medical Center was among several academic medical centers which participated in the study. Tufts Medical Center is a 451-bed hospital in Boston and the primary teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine.

Ustekinumab is a human immunoglobulin monoclonal antibody that is also being studied for treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Researchers conducting the study published in The Lancet reported that at week 12 of the study, 42 percent of patients given 63 or 90 mg of the drug at weeks 0, 1, 2 and 3 showed significant improvement in their pain, stiffness and other symptoms defined by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) score compared with 14 percent of patients who received placebo at the same time points (P < 0.001). At week 36, 33 weeks after their last dose, approximately three quarters of patients who had achieved ACR 20 sustained the improvement in their psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Also at week 24, 12 weeks after their initial ustekinumab dose, 51 percent of patients who had initially received placebo at Weeks 0, 1, 2 and 3 achieved ACR 20 following two doses of ustekinumab at weeks 12 and 16.

A secondary endpoint of the study showed that of patients who had plaque psoriasis on at least 3 percent of their body, 52 percent receiving 63 or 90 mg ustekinumab at weeks 0, 1, 2 and 3 achieved at least a 75 percent improvement in psoriasis from baseline as measured by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 75) at week 12 compared with five percent of patients receiving placebo (P < 0.001).

Through week 12, the placebo-controlled portion of the study, the proportion of patients with at least one adverse event (AE) was similar between patients in Group 1 receiving ustekinumab (61 percent) and those in Group 2 receiving placebo (63 percent). There were no serious AEs in Group 1 versus 4 percent of patients (n=3) in Group 2. There were no deaths, no reports of malignancy, tuberculosis or serious infections in either group. Through week 36, after the placebo crossover, the pattern of AEs was similar to that observed through week 12 of the trial.

About Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory arthropathy manifesting with joint pain and swelling that can lead to joint destruction and debilitation. It is frequently associated with inflamed, scaly, red patches of skin psoriasis and psoriasis nail involvement. Symptoms may include stiffness and tenderness of the joints and surrounding tissue and reduced range of motion. Joints of the hands, wrists, knees, ankles, feet, lower back and neck are commonly affected. Psoriasis affects an estimated two to three percent of the world's population, and approximately one out of three patients affected by psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis. Both men and women are equally affected by psoriatic arthritis, most commonly between the ages 30 and 50, in the peak of their productive years. Psoriasis affects two to four percent of the U.S. population. About a quarter of those with psoriasis have moderate to severe symptoms, and a third of those develop psoriatic arthritis. stelara

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** Originally posted by Linda **

Hopefully I can shed some light on the data...I'm quoting Humira's data because that's what Im most familiar with...actually the PsA data for all the TNFs is very very similiar, but here goes:

HUMIRA (efficacy at wk 24)
ACR20 = 51%
ACR50 = 39%
ACR70= 23%

So, based on this, the TNFs offer better efficacy (compared even to the 90mg dose of Stelara) when it comes to ACR20 scores. There isnt any data for Stelara in ACR50 or ACR70 scores. This data is really important for us to know since the joint part of our disease is destructice...once the joint is destroyed, it can't be brought back.

And its not right to assume that a drug that works in the skin works for the joints as well...i'll give you two examples of drugs that don't work in the joints - Raptiva and Amevive

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** Originally posted by odin7 **

......and a hockey game broke out......:eek:

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** Originally posted by Linda **

very funny Odin! Im a hockey fan myself...just trying to provide some hard data to the discussion in the hopes some may find it useful.

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** Originally posted by leslye **

I just got a call from the pharmacy putting together my second injection for Stelara. She was checking on my insurance. I had just received a letter the day before approving two shots for the drug. She was making sure because she did not want me to inadvertantly get stuck with the bill. When I asked what the cost would be she told me - are you ready for this? - two injections of 45 mg each would be $18,000. That is $9,000 each. Jeesh! Unfortunately, I need to change insurance companies at the end of the year. Whether I will be covered with the new coverage is questionable, so the first two shots may be all I get.

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** Originally posted by RichJ **

hi leslye,
welcome to the p family. you have meet some of the wonderful people on here and will find alot of great info. welcome and nice to meet you. ins can be some thing. i wish you the best

try and have a good weekend all

richard

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** Originally posted by stametst **

......and a hockey game broke out......:eek:

Hey Odin7:

Love that dry sense of humor you got!

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** Originally posted by stametst **

I was on vacation when I found out about Stelara being approved. I was actually looking forward to the vacation ending so I could research this since I was away from a computer. :P

About 2 (maybe 3?) years ago I got a prescription for Enbrel but couldn't pursue since the cost was $1400 per month. Toooooo much money.

I heard about these injections every 12 weeks and thought.. how expensive could that be to something that needed to be injected daily? Then I saw "generic: ustekinumab".. it even has a generic equivalent already?

Anyway.. anyone know the approximate annual cost of Stelara?

Hi Oz,

A friend of mine told me that Stelara has an excellent patient assistance program (PAP). She had told me though you could not have any health insurance and had to supply what your earnings are.

I use to be on Humira and had to use their PAP program which was very helpful for biological medicine. I don't know what I would have done without that program. I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Additional Information: I went to see my dermatologist this month and asked her about Stelara and what her opinion of this med was. She told me she is a little leery because it may give some folks malignancies. Also, she made the comment that Humira/Enbrel have been out longer and she was more comfortable prescribing that medicine.

Blessings.......

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** Originally posted by stametst **

I was on vacation when I found out about Stelara being approved. I was actually looking forward to the vacation ending so I could research this since I was away from a computer. :P

About 2 (maybe 3?) years ago I got a prescription for Enbrel but couldn't pursue since the cost was $1400 per month. Toooooo much money.

I heard about these injections every 12 weeks and thought.. how expensive could that be to something that needed to be injected daily? Then I saw "generic: ustekinumab".. it even has a generic equivalent already?

Anyway.. anyone know the approximate annual cost of Stelara?

Hi Oz,

A friend of mine told me that Stelara has an excellent patient assistance program (PAP). She had told me though you could not have any health insurance and had to supply what your earnings are.

I use to be on Humira and had to use their PAP program which was very helpful for biological medicine. I don't know what I would have done without that program. I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Additional Information: I went to see my dermatologist this month and asked her about Stelara and what her opinion of this med was. She told me she is a little leery because it may give some folks malignancies. Also, she made the comment that Humira/Enbrel have been out longer and she was more comfortable prescribing that medicine. Mr. dermatologist told me the price for this medicine is between $18,000 - $40,000. Really expensive!

Blessings.......

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