Last week, when I ordered my prescription, I knew our insurance had changed.  I thought I had done due diligence in researching our coverage, and that I knew the extent of the increases in our co-pays and deductibles.  When I was told that the cost to me was going to be $100, it was double what I expected, but for $100, I would get the prescription this month and check into the assistance programs that are available to people with MS.  I really don’t want to pay $100 every month for this (after all…I need cable TV and internet…don’t I?).

When the package arrived, I opened it up and I was $hocked!  $981?!  Nine hundred and eighty-one dollars!  I am panicking.  We don’t really have a lot of extra money, and I am multiplying $981 times 12 in my head – that is like $100,000 dollars.  Ok – so my math was a little fuzzy, but it may as well be $100,000, because I will not be able to afford this medication.

I called the pharmacy.  Pharmacies do not like to take returns.  They do not want to refund money.  This $3000 dollar (retail) package of medicine will have to be destroyed if I return it.  I told them that I was fine with that.  I quickly taped the box back up and determined that even if they would not authorize a return, they were getting this back and I was cancelling the payment.  I really wanted this out of my house.  Now.  A little worked up and worried, I called the credit card company to ask how to stop payment. 

For three days, I stewed.  I had never authorized $981.  I wouldn’t.  The pharmacy was reviewing their phone records and, of course, in the end, they arranged for Fed Ex to pick up the package and credited the $981.

Now I am without my Copaxone.  A medicine that I have taken for 10 years.  I am always the optimist, so I figure that it will work out eventually, or I will be fine with it not working out.  Not giving myself a shot every day will be nice for a change.  For the person with MS, not taking your medication does not affect you like it would for someone with diabetes.  The missed doses will not even be noticed.  MS medications are at work for long-term results, slowing the progress of the disease.

The pharmacy was very nice about all of this…and they had no leg to stand on, because no one had said to me your bill will be $981.  They did point me in the right direction for assistance.  Shared Solutions helps patients taking Copaxone stay on treatment when there are limited finances or a lack of insurance.  Within just a couple of days, I was approved for coverage.  My order is in place.  It should be here soon.



  1. Pam Smith said,

    April 24, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Annita, I am so sorry to hear this. I can relate. I go in for infusions every month. In Dec. like the 23, I got a bill from the clinic I go to for the infusions and the bill was for 18,798 dollars or something like that. THAT WAS NOVEMBER’S BILL!! I darn near peed… and something else… myself. I was nearly in tears. I can’t send it back.. it’s in my body already. Can’t return Christmas… didn’t spend THAT much on it anyway…
    TO cut to the chase, the insurance company got messed up somehow, they paid it… and I am no longer on that medicine. I am on a cheaper stuff… it’s only 10 or 11,000 a month! (But changing that in May or June, it also isn’t working.)
    I am praying for you. For both the medicine thing and for the MS. I didn’t know you were diagnosed with that. Becky Kemp also has MS I found out. Not sure if you remember Becky, she was my room mate when 2 years that I lived off campus. Anyway… praying for you.

  2. annita said,

    April 24, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Oh, Pam. These medications are so expensive. That is horrible! RA for you, right? I think of you often. I have not had any pain, and really, my MS has not been bad at all. What you face with RA is far worse than what I have had to deal with. I am praying for you as well. I am glad we are connected. I remember Becky’s name…if I could put a face with it, I am sure I will remember. I will look her up in the yearbook. Has she been diagnosed for a long time, or more recently?

  3. Kyle Carrier said,

    April 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Annita –

    Well First let me say, I have known you for maybe 4 or 5 years. I didn’t know you had MS. I am very thankful that you were able to find assistance and that the Pharmacy to back its RX and that your 981 was credited back. I hate when something is ordered and they don’t tell you the price until the package has arrived.

    God Bless and Good Luck

    Kyle and Sue

    • annita said,

      April 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Kyle (& Sue). My MS has not been much of an issue, but I am starting to notice it more lately. I have just felt a little more like sharing, and tracking what I am doing for accountability (exercise). You never know who reads a blog, but if my experiences help someone else, that would be great. Or if it just keeps friends and family informed, that is fine. Love you guys!

  4. Billie Jo Robbins said,

    April 24, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I guess that means you’ll have to keep poking yourself every day huh?…;)..Annita!..you forgot the BEST part..you had people praying..that you probably didn’t even know were praying for you!..This answer to prayer has been so uplifting for me! I have to admit..when I went to God with it..I was intimidated at first…that is ALOT of money. But God quickly reminded me, how powerful a God He is..and boom, there you go!..Then when I knew you would still need it….I absolutley KNEW God would answer that one too!..God is faithful to His own:)

    • annita said,

      April 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

      You are right, Billie. God has always been faithful to me. I trust him with every aspect of my life. He has proven himself to me over and over.

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