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GoatHerder 10-25-2018 12:26 PM

Humana Drops Avonex Coverage
Bottom line profits win out over common sense I guess:

Just got a lovely phone call from Humana. It seems that starting in 2019, they will no longer cover the Interferon beta-1a drug Avonex.

I've been on it for 18 years,and my M.S. has stayed pretty stable during that time.

Will be interesting to see how my body adjusts to not having it. Has anyone else gone off of it, either cold turkey or tapering off?

Insurance companies really are evil gits!

Veronica 10-25-2018 01:51 PM

Goatherder, I have also been on Avonex forever ( since 2005) and when I went on Medicare and looked at the supplemental plans I was aghast with what the co-pay cost would be... I have blocked it from my memory bank as it was SO ridiculous. Told my neuro who told me to just call Biogen and tell them I need assistance in getting this paid. Some initial paperwork, but they are covering it... I pay the same co-pay as before Medicare...about $25 per refill. Just have to renew this each year...and that is really simple. I would strongly suggest you do the same.... Like you, Avonex has really kept me stable... Good luck and keep us posted. We can't let the insurance companies jeopardize our health...........

GoatHerder 10-25-2018 02:06 PM

Biogen has been great, and has covered my Avonex on a number of occasions over the last 18 years.

Interestingly, this comes at a time when other therapies are showing great promise, without the painful injection.

After so many years, even being careful with site rotation, my poor legs are about shot!

It's also possible that at my advanced age, I may not need anything. We'll see.

randman 11-08-2018 12:56 PM

Loving this thread! indeed

GoatHerder 01-22-2019 08:18 PM

2 Months And Counting
So I've taken myself off of Avonex.

As I had a dozen doses in stock when my stinking insurance company decided to no longer cover it, I discussed with my doctor a plan to taper off then stop the drug.

I went from weekly doses, to once every 2 weeks, then once every 3 weeks, finally once a month for the remaining stock.

Now off of it entirely, at 60 years old, my neurologist and I are in a "wait and see" mode, not using any disease modifying drugs at all.

So far so good, with no exacerbation.

We'll see as they say...

malpais 01-22-2019 08:30 PM

Human Drops Avonex
After one year on Avonex, I showed slight inflammation on a lesion and my MS doc wanted me to choose a different DMD. I wanted to stay at the low-risk end of the drugs because I was not having relapse symptoms, so I chose another interferon, Rebif. At first I was concerned about side effects since I always had flu-like symptoms for a day after injecting Avonex, so I was very surprised to have no side effects with Rebif. Have been on it for over four years now, no relapses. I am over 60 years of age.

GoatHerder 01-25-2019 05:31 PM

I was on Avonex for 18 years, and in all the time, ALWAYS had the flu like symptoms the day after. Was a pain when I was still working 60 hour weeks, but once retired it wasn't so much an issue. If I need a DMD again, I'll likely use Rebif as well...

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