Last week began with a call from Walgreens Alliance Pharmacy, asking if I needed to arrange for another month’s supply of Humira.
“Yes,” I said. “That would be great.”
We went through timing, delivery, the regular questions, and then she mentioned the $1200 co-pay.
“Were you expecting that?” she asked.
The conversation deteriorated from there, partly because it came just days after I learned my remaining eye was not as “stable” as it had been. Humira is the main drug I have been depending on to save my sight.
The crux of it all is that since I now receive Medicare – well, “receive” is the wrong word – I pay for Medicare as well as supplemental insurance – I no longer qualify for the “Complete” Humira financial help program I worked so hard to find and apply for. That process had taken months, but it was worth it. Humira is unbelievably expensive. Costing tens of thousands of dollars at “retail,” it is usually paid by insurers or the government under a non-negotiable arrangement passed by corrupt members of congress decades ago.
So, because I am now on government-funded insurance, I no longer qualify for that financial assistance program. It doesn’t matter that I am paying for this insurance.
My first option offered by Abbvie, the company that makes Humira, was to pay $1600 for the first month of Humira, then $1200 the second month, then about $300/month for the rest of the year. $5,800. Oh, and it starts over yearly. This is on top of my premiums, other medications, monthly specialist appointments and lab tests. That much extra I do not have.
By then I was in tears. I was passed along to Abbvie’s pharmacy assistance program. They said I had to apply, although I had already applied and been accepted to the program I was being kicked off. If I qualify, the lady said, I could get Humira “free.” She told me that each case was decided individually so even if it looked like I wasn’t going to qualify, I might still.
Why Abbvie makes people apply and reapply and go through hoops – and maybe not even find these programs because they don’t know how to research or ask – in order not to go blind – is beyond me. It’s evil.
I always cry when I talk to these “case managers” or “ambassadors.” I tell myself they really believe they are doing positive work for the people who desperately need their product. After all, they did not come up with these draconian plans. That’s the committee of people I want access to.
Sometimes in my darkness, I realize that nothing changes, except to get worse. I have been through issues like this since “the fall.” Actually since before that, back when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I’m tired of working so hard at working so hard. I want to go away, but for so many reasons right now I cannot.
But I will work to make today a better day, and I will hope that you are doing better than you were yesterday. If you have insomnia, check Messenger and see if I’m awake. Maybe we can chat for a bit