welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, March 21, 2014

whats the price

in the next 2 years several alzheimers disease studies will be started with
different criteria for who gets in them
most of not all will be given a new biological infusion called

this will be given monthly for 3 years
it works by binding with antibodies to beta amyloid the sticky stuff
that accumulates in the brain
that  is thought to be the cause of alzheimers disease

the beta amyloid  is then removed from the brain
if it works it will slow down the disease
if we are all lucky cure the disease

there are several diseases now that use the same approach for
treating them
one eg is rheumatoid arthritis
patients may get an infusion of biologicals every 1-2 months
with names like infliximab or adalimubab
thats remacaide and humira

cost of getting infusions for a year are $10,000-$30,000+

note the similar sound to their generic names to the new drug
for alzhiemers disease that will be used in these studies

the drugs for alzheimers disease used now
remember they only treat the symptoms
not the disease

these prices below are for 30 days treatment
cash prices from costco pharmacy

donepezil generic aricept $11.41
aricept brand                  $417.67
aricept 23                       $388.90 this was designed after the aricept
went generic and the price plummeted for the generic
folks dont let doctors put your family on aricept 23
its the things big pharma does when their drugs go generic
it doesnt work any better
and it cost you hundreds more a year

rivistagmine generic exelon $52.64
exelon brand                       $226
exelon patch                       $352.25
its no better than donepezil
its used instead of donepezil when donepezil causes stomach issues

for me
my stomach issues improved after 30 days and i was able to tolerate
the donepezil

namenda for now its brand is only $328.08
later this year a new product will be introduced called
you got it namenda xr
sounds familiar
the patent on namenda is going out next year
then other companies can make it

it will not work any better than namenda or the new generic
you know the cost will probably be in the $300-$400 a  month price range

namenda is usually added to the donepezil when the donepezil
loses its effectiveness later on in the disease
some are taking it with donepezil as soon as the diagnosis of
alzheimers is made
i have opted not to do this combo yet
when it is needed i probably will not be capable of making that

if you presume all patients with alzheimers disease in the united states
are on donepezil
5,000,000 people have this disease now
thats $57,000,000 a year for the generic drug
add namenda to them
thats $1,640,000,000 a year more

we know this new solanezumab that will be used in these new
alzheimers disease trials will be expensive
if it works all those newly early diagnosed patients will be getting it
those of you who are young and who are tested for alzheimers disease
will probably start this drug early in life
maybe in the 40s
and will take it for the rest of your life
if you want to slow the disease down

cost im presuming for a years treatment will be $20,000-$30,000+
a year
we are talking about 20 years of people who will be told you will get
alzhiemers disease
there will be millions of people wanting this drug

if you multiple the cost times 5,000,000 people an underestimate
thats $150,000,000,000 a year for this new drug

but can we afford as a society to spend that amount of money
each year to prevent or treat this disease

that 150 billion dollars just so happens to me the amount
that medicare and medicaid spends now each year on
alzheimers disease patients

interesting huh
that does not include what private health insurance pays what long term
care insurance pay and what we all pay out of our pocket

its a financially devastating as well as socially devastating disease
can we afford these new treatments

maybe we can

lets just hope that in the next 3-5 years that this new drug
works to slow down or stop this disease
so that we can answer this question

the organicgreen doctor

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