Interferon Beta 1a

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Avonex

Interferon Beta 1a

Postby Baumer » Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:50 pm

Okay, I have a stupid question...

If Avonex and Rebif are the same drug (interferon beta 1a) and the difference is the way it is injected (IM vs. SC), then why couldn't someone buy a months supply of Rebif (which is approximately the same price as Avonex) and simply inject 2/3 of the 44mcg dose IM? For the same price (appoximately) you would have 3 months worth of drugs?

Just a silly thought...

Thanks,
Aaron
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Postby stone » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:38 pm

I have recently started treatment with the Avonex injectionsand to anyone who either for themselves or for any near or dear persons of the family who might have developed the MS disorder is desperately seeking treatment I can assure them that Avonex injections are just like a dream come true. I am getting astounding relief from the symptoms and what more with a little bit of expertise any individual can administer the injections by themselves. The only thing to be remembered in this case is the schedule should be timely which is usually slated at once in a week and the same is required to be administered in the muscles, i.e. they are intramuscular injections and also make sure that they are administered in the large muscles of the thigh and upper arm.
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Re: Interferon Beta 1a

Postby NHE » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:57 pm

Baumer wrote:If Avonex and Rebif are the same drug (interferon beta 1a) and the difference is the way it is injected (IM vs. SC), then why couldn't someone buy a months supply of Rebif (which is approximately the same price as Avonex) and simply inject 2/3 of the 44mcg dose IM? For the same price (appoximately) you would have 3 months worth of drugs?

Well, they are in different buffers and that might make a difference when injecting Rebif intramuscularly. But you have a good question and, unfortunately, I don't have a good answer. Clearly, if the quantity of Ifn-B was the critical determinant, then the pricing would reflect that. However, it appears as though there are likely arbitrary factors built into the price of the medications.

Avonex
30 mcg Lyophilized Powder Vial
Each vial of reconstituted AVONEX ® contains 30 mcg of Interferon beta-1a; 15 mg Albumin (Human), USP; 5.8 mg Sodium Chloride, USP; 5.7 mg Dibasic Sodium Phosphate, USP; and 1.2 mg Monobasic Sodium Phosphate, USP, in 1.0 mL at a pH of approximately 7.3.

30 mcg Prefilled Syringe
Each 0.5 mL (30 mcg dose) of AVONEX ® in a prefilled glass syringe contains 30 mcg of Interferon beta-1a, 0.79 mg Sodium Acetate Trihydrate, USP; 0.25 mg Glacial Acetic Acid, USP; 15.8 mg Arginine Hydrochloride, USP; and 0.025 mg Polysorbate 20 in Water for Injection, USP at a pH of approximately 4.8.

Rebif
"Each 0.5 mL (0.5 cc) of Rebif® contains either 22 mcg or 44 mcg of
interferon beta-1a, 2 or 4 mg albumin (human) USP, 27.3 mg mannitol
USP, 0.4 mg sodium acetate, Water for Injection USP.

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Postby Baumer » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:56 am

Thanks for the reply.

I think some of the arbitrary factors built into the pricing are all the supposedly "free" junk that the drug companies give you (that mostly end up in the garbage) and the multiple time weekly info that they continually mail out that keeps stating the exact same thing. :x
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Re: Interferon Beta 1a

Postby NHE » Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:36 am

Baumer wrote:I think some of the arbitrary factors built into the pricing are all the supposedly "free" junk that the drug companies give you (that mostly end up in the garbage)...

Yes, that's part of it (but do you really think Rebif users receive less junk than Avonex users?). For further information, you may be interested in reading a book titled The Truth About The Drug Companies, How They Deceive Us And What To Do About It by Marcia Angell, M.D. which I read this past year. Overall, the book is well written though it does go into some depth concerning the pharmaceutical industry's finances. Here's a link to an overview of the book by the New York Review of Books.

Another book which may be of interest is titled Overdo$ed America : the broken promise of American medicine by John Abramson, M.D. While I have yet to read this book, it's on my hold list at my local library, I did listen to an interview of the author which impressed me enough to want to read his book. Here's a link to the author's site which offers some exerpts of some of the chapters.

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