Most Expensive Prescription Drug

I was prescribed Lovenox 120 and I had to jump through hoops to get my insurance to cover it. They said I had to order through them because it was so expensive. I went to my local pharamcy and asked them to look up the price. The guy said “about $1600.00 for my 14 day supply”. :eek: (But they had it in stock!) So now I’m wondering if this is the most expensive drug on the market. Is there anything even more expensive? For purposes of this question, the drug has to be available from US pharamcies with a prescription. No fair counting some experimental drug that has to be hand crafted or anything like that. Also this is based on price per day, not price per ounce. My prescription is about $114 per day. (I use 2 doses per day though.) Also, no fair adding up a whole bunch of drugs to get past $114 per day. It has to be a single drug.

And for the curious, I have Lupus Anticoagulant. I must inject the Lovenox in my tummy twice a day. That’s why I said “use 2 doses” rather than “take 2 doses”.

Damn. Just damn. I’m glad you have insurance. I don’t, and $80 a month for Mirapex is killing me.

According to this article the lymphoma drug Zevalin costs $12,000 for a 14 day supply.

My Imitrex runs about $90 per dose (not counting insurace discounts)
That would be about $2500 for 28 doses. Lukily 28 doeses would last me about a year or so and even more lukily I get samples when I need them.

Each dose of Remicade IV, a chimeric antibody against TNF-alpha, costs $700.

Each dose of Alefacept IM, a recombinant fusion protein, costs $1000.

In general, recombinant biologics like Alefacept (and Remicade) are extremely expensive. Zevalin, the “most expensive drug” listed in the article is about $3000 per dose. It is, unsurprisingly, another biologic - this time, conjugated with a chelating agent called tiuxetan, which chelates radioisotopes of indium and yttrium, and is used in radioimmunotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Temozolomide/Temodal (Schering-Plough) is an anticancer drug.

The UK NHS prices are: Capsules, temozolomide 5 mg, net price 5-cap pack = £17.30; 20 mg, 5-cap pack = £69.20; 100 mg, 5-cap pack = £346.00; 250 mg, 5-cap pack = £865.00.

It’s given ~200mg/m2 for 5 days, every 28 days for 12 months.

So a single 5-day cycle will run well over £1000/$2000. It’s >£12,000/$24,000 for an entire course of treatment.

It’s also only made in one small factory as it’s hazardous to produce (extremely explosive) and when the factory blew up a couple of years ago the world’s supply ran out, until they rebuilt the factory.

This drug must also be given intravenously, with special equipment, by an RN or MD. My husband is on Remicade therapy for ankylosing spondelitis and Crohn’s disease, and for him to receive a single dose the cost is over $3000.00. We are fortunate that he is 50% service connected disabled and all medical costs for him are covered 100% through the VA. He gets the infusions every two months.

There are some biological drugs that treat chronic diseases and so need to be taken essentially indefinitely, and the cost per patient per year is quite high.

Drugs like Cerezyme and Replagal cost in the neighborhood of $200,000-$250,000 per year per patient, and Idursulfase costs around $300,000 per patient per year.

Fortunately these treat syndromes that are quite rare with only a few thousand sufferers in Europe and the US. National and private insurance plans usually cover the costs because there are so few patients that need the drugs (and they greatly improve these peoples quality of life).

That must be special ultimate strength smart bomb ninja Imitrex. Is it the injectible kind? $90? :eek:

My Imitrex is a measley $17 a pill and still I cut them into pieces and ration them out. If it’s any consolation, I think the patent expires in a year or two. Man, am I ever looking forward to that!

If you’re dividing the pills are you even getting a therapeutic dose?

They sell Imitrex (under the name sumatriptan) for £7.99 for 2 50mg pills over the counter in the UK. How come you’re having to pay so much more?

I get the 100mg pills and quarter them (which is inaccurate and difficult because they are an odd shape). If I catch the migraine in the first hour, a quarter is sufficient. If not, I take two. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the only way I can afford them.

I’d toss off some crack about the effin’ drug companies, but since they invented something that actually works I suppose I shouldn’t begrudge them the extra few bucks they need for ‘research and development.’

Ahh, my bad… it’s actually not that much cheaper. £7.99 is about $16.00. I thought you were paying $17 for one 50mg pill.

Sorry about that.

This isn’t quite per the OP, being something that is only administered in hospitals - but when Moon Unit was in the NICU and developed breathing troubles, she had 2 doses of artificial lung surfactant (Survanta?) at 2,000 a pop.

Fortunately, health insurance wound up covering pretty much everything.

Yup, I started with the pills, but my migranes used to make me soooo naseaus I couldn’t swallow them or they’d come back up. The drip of the nasal spray is one of the most bitter things I’ve tasted. The injection though, well even the WORST headaches are gone within five minutes.
But like I said, I just get samples of it so I haven’t paid for it in a while.
But I’m looking foward to the generic.

I guess that Idursulfase wins. $300,000 per year. Wow! And I finally see why Oncology and Hemotology is a combined specialty. The link is the cost of the drugs!

How much is dialysis.? A friend of mines wife has been on it for 11 years.

The OP says it must be available from most US Pharmacies.

I came into this thread to bring up Imitrex, which I see has already been mentioned several times. My husband has cluster migraine headaches and sometimes has 3-4 migraines per DAY for 4-6 weeks at a time. The only thing that will touch the headaches is an Imitrex injection. Our health insurance company will only pay for 6 injections per month :frowning: Needless to say, we’ve paid for them out of pocket many times, and are beyond appreciative for all samples his neurologist gives us. I remember one particularly bad cluster … we spent $4K in one month :eek: Add us to the list of happy campers that the patent is expiring soon.

Yes, the injectible form is $90 a dose.
I’ve had the same reaction as Joey P, (vomiting the pills and nasal spray) and the injectible form is all I can take.
I didn’t know the patent was expiring soon, so that will be a big help.