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Topic: Cost of Aromasin (exemestane) w/o insurance

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues —

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Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 11:41AM

MaryNY wrote:

I've been two years on Tamoxifen and now my oncologist is talking about switching me to Aromasin (exemestane). I will have a blood test in two weeks to confirm that I'm officially menopausal. I've been quite happy on Tamoxifen except for the huge weight gain (30 pounds in two years) and hot flashes which I would probably have anyway.

Apart from a different range of side-effects, my most immediate worry about Aromasin is the cost. I don't have prescription drug coverage. The Tamoxifen just costs me $16 for a three-month supply at RiteAid and I know that Aromasin will be a lot more.

Would some of you tell me how much you pay for Aromasin without insurance? I know the generic version has been available for about a year. If it's very costly, has anyone found that the manufacturer will help defray the cost?

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 22, 2012 12:15PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Mary,

From our main Breastcancer.org site on the Tips to Lower Medicine Costs page:

Pfizer, which makes Aromasin (chemical name: exemestane) and Ellence (chemical name: epirubicin), offers FirstRESOURCE, 1-877-744-5675. Pfizer also sponsors Pfizer Pfriends. Call 1-866-776-3700 for more information.

Hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Mar 22, 2012 01:45PM MaryNY wrote:

Thank you mods!

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 29, 2012 10:41PM lauri wrote:

Arimidex (anastrozole) went generic in 2009 or 2010, and the costs are all over the map -- I pay about $55 for 90 days at Costco, Target wants about $280.  Check out Aromasin at Costco!

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 29, 2012 10:43PM susan_02143 wrote:

Quick note. You do not need to be a Costco member to use their pharmacy. [or any of the clubs, federal law] Costco posts ALL prices on their website so that it is easy to compare. I get most of my RX filled there since they tend to be cheaper than using my prescription insurance for generics.

*susan* 

anotherplan.blogspot.com... and its back. May 3, 2010 mets found. Five years NED on Faslodex * 4/2015 progression to bone * 6/11/2015 Femara/Ibrance * 12/27/2015 Xeloda * 2/24/2016 Xgeva * another progression, another drug Taxol 2/14/2017 Dx 6/8/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2012 06:52PM MaryNY wrote:

I checked prices at Costco earlier this week:

Exemestane: $121.35 (30-day)   $234.65 (60-day)     $344.30 (90-day)
Aromasin       $463.05                $919.17               $1,368.34

I just called Pfizer First Resource and spoke to someone there. She offered to start the application process over the phone, but I think it might be quicker if I do it online. She said once they have received all the necessary information, they make a decision in 48 hours and they mail out the Aromasin from their pharmacy, which might take another 3-5 days. 

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 15, 2012 05:10PM MaryNY wrote:

Well it took a while for my oncologist to actually prescribe this. She said I wasn't quite menopausal based on the blood test in March, but after another test two weeks ago, she gave me the go-ahead and signed off on the necessary paperwork for FirstResource at Pfizer. FirstResource called me this afternoon to let me now to expect my first shipment in a couple of days.

Thank you mods for the FirstResource link! Without this, I was going to tell the oncologist that I could't take the drup and would stay on tamoxifen unless she wanted to prescribe one of the other less expensive AIs.

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 18, 2012 12:07PM - edited May 18, 2012 12:10PM by peggy_j

Sounds like you're set but as an FYI another option are the Rx discount programs. I know AAA (the car company) has one with Walgreens (maybe other drug store too) Lots of random groups offer these plans. I just noticed that my city has one too.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 18, 2012 04:36PM - edited May 18, 2012 04:37PM by MaryNY

Thanks Peggy, but I already looked at all the Rx disount program options at local pharmacies -- CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, etc. Costco was the cheapest at $344.30 for a 90-day supply of exemestane. I just checked prices at Costco and Walgreens using the AAA Rx program to find that a 90-day supply of exemestane would be a whopping $1,018 - that's three times the price of just using Costco's own Rx discount program. The moral of this story is that you should always shop around for the best price.

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 18, 2012 05:29PM - edited May 18, 2012 05:35PM by ICanDoThis

Have you and your onc discussed the possibility of being on one of the AIs that has already gone to generic?

Femara is a lot less, I know.

Maybe you could switch to Aromasin when it becomes generic.

That's a lot of money
Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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May 18, 2012 07:52PM MaryNY wrote:

The generic version of exemestane has been available for at least a year. I listed the Costco prices in a previous post -- exemestane vs. Aromasin. In any case, I got it free (branded version) from Pfizer under their FirstResource program. I got my first 90-day supply today in the mail. I'm glad to be getting the brand name version. 

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2012 08:19AM financegirl wrote:

My experience with Arimidex was that although it had gone generic, there generally is a leadtime until there are enough new companies out there manufacturing the drugs to get enough of the generic into the system.  SO, when I was put on Arimidex, I called around and found:

Brand name, no insurance would be about $620/month; I have good insurance and if only the brand name was available I'd owe about 1/3 (about $210/month) copay.  If I could find it's generic (anastrazole?) I'd pay $10/month.  However, the drugstores, even if they had the generic had the ability to charge more than when it would become more plentiful.

Calling around I found the mainstream CVS/Rite Aid/Walgreens could not keep enough of the generic on hand.  I went to Costco and they would have charged $24/month but the pharmacist came over and said that they were sorry they could take no more orders for that drug.  There was a 6 month backlog in ability to get the drug, either the brand or its generic.  I lucked out in that a local Walmart seemed to get in a huge supply and now it seems that the generic is available many more places.   So, I now can receive  generic Arimidex for $10/month - huge difference btwn it and the cost of the brand name (either with or w/o insurance)! 

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Jun 15, 2012 09:46AM MaryNY wrote:

financegirl: I didn't realize that it took a while for the generics to come down in price—I suppose it's all about supply and demand.

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 21, 2012 09:39AM financegirl wrote:

MaryNY - You hit the nail on the head - a drug going generic means nothing if there's not enough of it out in the system.   Yep, all about supply and demand.  I never experienced this until I was put on Arimidex - prior to that most drugs I took were already generic and had been for some time.  But most other drugs I was on didn't have the implications or importance to me that Arimidex holds so maybe it's always been like this and I never noticed!

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Jul 4, 2012 05:41PM purple32 wrote:

Arimidex for those w/out INS .  $40 month

http://www.arimidex.com/arimidex-direct.aspx

Hope this helps someone !

Lymphedema on LEFT. NO rads. 2 clean nodes. purple32. Hope is our light ... in the night..UPDATE : 2017 blood draw in RIGHT arm CAUSED new LE due to fact arm had just healed from a break and already had an ' insult' plus poor lymph system. Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/30/2012 Lumpectomy: Left
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Mar 5, 2019 07:13AM Pei128 wrote:

It has been a while since this thread has been updated. My mom will be starting Aromasin (chemical name: exemestane) soon after she takes a break from chemotherapy. Since Letrozole failed on her last year, that's why Exemestane will be the next drug that she will be using.

We were told that each pill is about 7.38 USD (I'm converting this to USD so that it's easier to relate).

One month supply will be easily 7.38 x 30 = $221.40.

Dx 8/29/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 10/5/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/5/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/20/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 3, 2019 09:58PM Artista964 wrote:

letrozole was misery. Arimidex too similar so not going to bother. This one is chemically different enough that I may not be crippled on it. It's a shame that the price is so high for us on fixed income. Medicare doesn't cover it.

Dxd at 50. Went thru it all on my own by choice. Dx 6/2/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/5/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 11/2/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy 5/3/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 6/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 5, 2019 08:44AM edwards750 wrote:

Wow that is pricey. Tamoxifen only cost me $4.00 a month with insurance.

Diane

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