Topic: Vaginal estrogen cream- cost enormously high . Are you mad ?

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer — Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 07:16PM - edited Jul 12, 2019 07:17PM by hope2learn

Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 07:16PM - edited Jul 12, 2019 07:17PM by hope2learn

hope2learn wrote:

concern for breast cancer survivors and menopausal women

Many of us with breast cancer , as well normal menopausal women have problems with vaginal dryness ( ergo also sex) and possible other pelvic floor issues .

As all of us know, this is the result of the estrogen withdrawal either brought on by aromatase inhibitors or menopause.

  • My question is why in the world are the vaginal estradiol creams costing a fortune?

I think Estrace cost roughly $186, the generic versionof estradiol from Mylan costs about $109

Even the compounded versions of the cream are going up and up.

  • Has anybody else gotten mad about this. I am.

This is a particular crucial subject matter for all breast cancer patients who suppress estrogen with Aromatase inhibitors. And it it not just about vaginal dryness and a healthy sex life . If you do not use the estrogen regularly, you can end up with some kind bladder dysfunction. So, you really do not want to skimp on that estrogen cream and use the amount prescribed.

I personal , in order to live a somewhat normal life, I spent a fortune ( for me it is ) per month out of pocket for vaginal moisturizers and vaginal estrogen cream . My drug plan does not cover it.

It is even more maddening as the amount of the drug "estradiol" per gram in that cream is absolutely minimal ( 10 micro-gram / gram).

But what can we do ? That is why all of us who need it pay it.

  • Who has a good suggestions what we could do ? A different" me too moment", but it still is .

Here is Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones from the University of Utah talking about this matter

https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_4o5k3awe

To quote her :

"Now, if I wanted to take estradiol, my natural hormone, by pill for hot flashes, I could go to Walmart and get a 90-day supply for $10. If I wanted to use the same hormone vaginally, prepared to be absorbed by the vagina and this isn't rocket science, drug technology, it will cost $520 depending on how the estradiol is delivered. Now, $520 is the upper end, $300 is the lower end.

So what is the reason that the pharmaceutical industry puts such high prices on vaginal estradiol? It's because they can. "

Dx 8/23/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2019 06:41PM Sonia1 wrote:

hi I was told I can’t take any type of hormone by my oncologist I was on them . Is the cream a homone? Curious

K
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Oct 3, 2019 07:12PM muska wrote:

I believe vaginal creams with low estrogen are considered an acceptable option if 'regular' lubricants are not providing the desired effect. I was told by my oncologist she would prescribe if I needed it. So far, I manage by using LiquiBeads two/three times a week.

Check this recommendation: Use of vaginal estrogen in women with history of breast cancer

Dx at 54 Dx 5/9/2013, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 7/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/12/2013 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 6/13/2013, LCIS, Both breasts Chemotherapy 7/24/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/19/2014 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Hormonal Therapy 3/11/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/22/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Local Metastases 3/22/2014 Radiation therapy: Bone
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Oct 3, 2019 10:30PM ksusan wrote:

My oncologist and an oncological gynecologist encouraged me to use it, but I won't.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Radiation Therapy Whole breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 12, 2019 10:05AM - edited Nov 12, 2019 10:14AM by wallycat

I am reading that vaginal 10mcg or 4 mcg pessories are acceptable; cream I was told is not "allowed" (my onco) as it can be upwards of 1mg. There are some articles showing that women on AIs show an increased blood level for the first 2 weeks on the inserts, but it comes down in most (though not all) women after 2 weeks. Still not as low as not taking anything, but there is quality of life.

I finally went on Imvexxy (it offered a mfg. coupon so made it $70/3 months) and am using as little as possible. For me, it was my bladder. It was quality of life....you can't leave the house and you have to pee constantly...it was ridiculous---never mind sleep!

I'll wean to the least amount and try to skip a month here and there. That will help with the financial and the health stuff.

The latest goodrx showed vagifem over 120

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012

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