Meds for Oreo: Leukeran Prices Skyrocketing!

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by oreosmom, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. oreosmom

    oreosmom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Hello,

    As many of you know, Oreo has GI lymphoma along with the diabetes. I went to Costco yesterday, Feb. 2, 2013, to refill Oreo's Leukeran and
    I was floored to learn the price since November went up from $163. to $370 for 30 pills! Holy Smokes!!!!!! That is $12. 50 a pill! So I phoned Costco's pharmacy today, to ask why the ridiculous increase. This is what I was told: The patent on this drug had expired ,so to make more money, the manufacturer Glaxo-Smith Kline, sold the rights to produce the drug to a company in Germany. They have no competition and raised the prices over 100% !!!!!!!

    If any of you have any advise on this dillema and how to get a fair price, PLEASE let me know. I am afraid to buy generic from Canada or Mexico. Do you know if they are the same thing? Any ideas and information would be highly valued.

    Many thanks,

    Oreo's Mom
     
  2. ranebo

    ranebo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Hello, I do not have a cat, however I do have a dog currently on Chlorambucil (leukeran). I refilled the script today and almost had a meltdown. The price was $15.00 a pill. $450.00 for 30 pills. I refused to pay that and asked what could be done. There is a pharmacy in AZ called Diamondback Drugs which makes compounded drugs.

    They can make the drug in a capsule form and for 30 pills it was $56.00. You should be able to get it there..... hope this works out for you.
     
  3. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Usually, once a med is off patent, the prices will drop since other companies can then manufacture the drug. It sounds like the problem is that there aren't any other companies that have started to manufacture. Compounding may be the way to go.
     
  4. TTU Girl

    TTU Girl New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    I have a cat with small cell lymphoma who has been on Leukeran for about 2-1/2 years and responded very well, and the drug was already expensive at over $5 per pill. Now they have doubled their price to over $10 per pill (from $83 for 15 pills/45-day supply to $162 for 15 pills/45-day supply!!!!!!!!). I contacted Aspen, the company GlaxoSmithKline sold the drug to back in 2009 (so Aspen has owned it for several years now), and here is the pathetic response I received:

    "In response to your email dated 18th March, I would like to highlight to you, as you point out, that Aspen Global Incorporated has taken over the management, distribution, promotion as well as regulatory and quality aspects of the products Leukeran and Myleran within the USA as part of its global acquisition of these products from GSK.

    "These products are Aspen’s first in the USA following transfer of Market Authorisation (NDA). However unlike the big pharma companies who possess a large portfolio, Aspen requires the products to be sustainable on a standalone basis in order for us to effectively service patients within the USA via our appointed distributor, Prasco.

    "Thus following a detailed review of our business, changes were made to the pricing model to bring it in line with other oral oncology products in the same category. However Aspen strongly believes that its products are still cost effective in comparison to other alternative currently available.

    "Regards,
    Mike Ainslie
    Executive : Supply Chain
    Aspen Global Incorporated: GBS Plaza, Cnr La Salette & Royal Roads, Grand Baie, Mauritius, Reg No. C08078138
    Tel: +230 209 3376 Email: mainslie@aspengl.com"

    So basically they gave me a non-answer and no concern whatsoever for those of us having to pay full price because it is for a pet. And it's also a BS answer, because the cost of other cancer drugs is irrelevant to the cost to manufacture a particular cancer drug. All that is is price-gouging. This is making me sick, as my cat has done very well on Leukeran, but I don't want this company to get any of my $$ for this callous attitude. I am steaming mad right now and looking into alternatives. Has anyone tried the compounding pharmacy yet? Does it work as well as the brand name?
     
  5. TTU Girl

    TTU Girl New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    In hopes that this helps others who need to purchase Leukeran - I just purchased some from a Canadian pharmacy (there is no prohibition against purchasing drugs in Canada by US citizens if it is for a pet and you have a veterinary prescription) because the US manufacturer decided to DOUBLE their prices. The Canadian pharmacy cost was a little less than what I used to pay, even when you include the $10 shipping charge. The Canadian pharmacy I ordered from is http://www.bigmountaindrugs.com/Drug/Leukeran. I was worried because it was coming from Canada to near Houston, Texas, and Leukeran needs to be refrigerated.

    I received the Leukeran today, which was exactly the 11th calendar day after it was shipped and here is the scoop:

    They packed it inside thick Styrofoam packaging. The two packages of pills I ordered were inside a Ziploc-type bag to protect them and were then wrapped in a "cool pack" that was still barely cool (definitely not cold) and a little bit wet. The "cool pack" was wrapped thoroughly in paper to absorb a lot of the melt-off, and it was a little damp, but not dripping. The Styrofoam was several inches thick, and the outside and inside of it felt a little bit cool when we opened up the package. I feel pretty good about this - it was definitely not refrigerator cool, but it certainly was not 80+ degrees, either. I IMMEDIATELY put the meds in the fridge.

    Bottom line - I think this is a good deal and a safe alternative to paying the crazy prices that the South African company now wants to charge in the US for Leukeran. Take THAT big pharma!
     
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