Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Copaxone

Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby cheerleader » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:50 am

Interesting week trying to get Jeff's Copaxone 20mg. refilled. Has this happened to anyone else??

Accredo giving us the run around, wouldn't fill prescription. Said we'd missed the "one day prior authorization cut off" ???
After spending all morning on the phone with insurance, neuro and the pharmacy----I think I know what's going on.

Teva does not want to lose business with all the new generics.
The stand to lose a half billion dollars.
Generic competition for its top-selling Copaxone drug will hit Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) hard. Now, we know just how hard--at least according to Teva itself. The company expects sales and operating profits to come in $550 million lighter next year if copies of the multiple sclerosis treatment make it to market.

http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/teva- ... z2udxsyR8x
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So, what does Teva do to keep business? They create a "new" product they can patent--and push.

Teva can now market Copaxone for use as a 40-milligram shot three times a week, the Petach Tikva, Israel-based company said yesterday in a statement. Teva sells a 20-milligram daily injection, which last year generated $4.2 billion in sales, based on analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1657223a-0f24 ... z2udzSSIak

“I don’t think these [patents] will affect the generic launch for the 20mg injection, but if the new dosing regimen is approved and is significantly superior, Teva will be better able to preserve its Copaxone franchise,” Gould noted. The patents for the new dosing regimen will not expire until 11 February 2030, plus there would likely be six months of pediatric exclusivity after that date, he added.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1657223a-0f24 ... z2udzB2SCl

They make it difficult for current patients to stay on the 20mg. dosage....like what happened to us this week. I explained it to my insurer--and told them to be on the look out for this activity.
It's all about market share.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby vesta » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:24 pm

Hello cheerleader: I'm wondering why Jeff still takes Copaxone since his venoplasty successfully opened blood flow and he has optimized nutrition etc. and his grey matter is apparently healthy. Thanks, Vesta
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby cheerleader » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Hi Vesta--
The hope is that Copaxone deals with any of the errant immune cells that might cross the blood brain barrier and target myelin.
We still do not know 100% that Jeff's blood brain barrier is intact, even though his gray matter has healed. He has chosen to do everything under his control to maintain good health--including venoplasty, diet, exercise, supplements, meditation, lifestyle--and yes, Copaxone. Some use LDN or other first line immune-modifiers. Others choose to use none. We've been very open about Jeff's continuing good health on Copaxone.

I write about MS as a potential disease of hypoperfusion/reperfusion here. Copaxone helps if there are any reoccurring reperfusion injuries. At least, that is the hope. http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com/2013/09/m ... perfu.html
Michal Schwartz and her theory of "protective autoimmunity" is why we chose Copaxone. She's breaking dogma.
http://falling-walls.com/videos/Michal-Schwartz-1646

just got off the phone with the neuro's office--her assistant couldn't believe the forms Accredo sent over for prior authorization...asking if Jeff had tried other meds or would sign up for the 40mg. dosage. ??? She said she hadn't seen this before. Just wanted other Copaxone patients to be on the look out.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby Kronk » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:10 pm

I am on Copaxone for the same reason, since it does not "suppress" natural immunity like other treatments it seems to be a no brainer. My neuro would like me to switch to Tecifidera or Gilenya and I asked if I could run 2 treatments at once since they have different mechanisms of action and he said "definitely not"... I can't see why not... I suppose big pharma would not allow tests to be done with another manufacturer to see if there is adverse effects. If none existed they may have to share profits and market share with the other.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby vesta » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:16 am

Hello Kronk: Why would you want to try another medication? Thanks, Vesta
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby Kronk » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:59 pm

Copaxone's efficacy is rated at 30%... if I could take another med that has a different mechanism of action with 50% perhaps I could get to 80%?
I haven't had a clear relapse in nearly a year, that after having 9 confirmed lesions at Dx and 5 relapses in the 6 months following... so I would hesitate to change my regimen now but just a thought.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby julu » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:46 pm

In the past two weeks, I've had a phone call from my specialty pharmacy urging me to talk to my doctor about the new dose, and also from my neuro's office recommending that I switch to the new dose. Do the providers and doctors get a kickback from switching patients to the new (presumably more expensive) prescription?
RRMS diagnosed 8/09; Copaxone 9/09; Copaxone + estriol study at University of Minnesota 10/09<br />
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby cheerleader » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:24 pm

julu wrote:In the past two weeks, I've had a phone call from my specialty pharmacy urging me to talk to my doctor about the new dose, and also from my neuro's office recommending that I switch to the new dose. Do the providers and doctors get a kickback from switching patients to the new (presumably more expensive) prescription?


That's a great question, juju. Not sure, but it seems plausible. The 40 mg. dosage is the only one that will be coveredd by Teva's patent, since the 20 mg. patent runs out this spring, and generics will be available. (The irony here is that Teva makes many generic drugs.) I think Teva wants to get all current Copaxone patients on the 40mg now.

We finally got Jeff's 20 mg. prescription approved, but it took a phone call from my insurance provider to the specialty pharmacy. The medicine still hasn't shipped, we'll see if it does. I wonder how many other Copaxone patients are going thru this hassle, as they try to renew their 20 mg. prescriptions.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby questor » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:47 am

cheerleader wrote:Has this happened to anyone else??

Yes, I was just informed by my neurologist that my prescription has been moved to the 40mg dose.

I was originally hesitant because of the complication to remember to take a shot three times a week instead of daily, but on second thought, I'm glad of this move.

If I remained at the 20mg dose, I'm certain my prescription benefit provider would require that I move to a generic version as soon as it becomes available in order to cut costs.

I've previously had problems with generics with other prescription drugs I take, and would prefer not to add this variable to my DMD injection.

So, 40mg dose it is.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby julu » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:06 am

I had not thought of the possible insurance complications, as Questor mentioned. Does anyone have an estimate of the time frame we're looking at here, as to when a 20-mg injectible generic might be available and thus insurance companies will want us to switch?
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby julu » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:18 pm

This answers a lot of questions I've had. I guess I will probably be switching to the new dosing system, since I need the co-pay assistance from Shared Solutions.

http://ccsvi-ms.ning.com/profiles/blogs ... es_network
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby Needled » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:15 pm

I ordered my 20 mg Copaxone thru Aetna Tuesday, received it yesterday and didn't have any problems.
The nurse did call back and ask if I was interested in the 40 mg. dose. I said no I want to keep doing what I'm doing since it seems to be working and I don't want to change anything.
I guess I'll see what happens because I'm not at all interested in a generic version.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby julu » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:22 am

I talked with my neurologist's nurse yesterday, and asked what she was seeing in terms of insurance coverage for the new formulation. She said that in March and early April their office was urging patients to move to the new dose, but have now changed their stance since they were finding that only 2 out of 10 insurance policies would cover it. She feels this is because the new dose is not yet on the insurance formularies, and hopes it will change once they are updated. I haven't yet attempted to switch, and she advised to just watch and wait a bit.
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby Laaccy1 » Sat May 10, 2014 7:43 am

I have been on Copaxone since 2012. Historically I have had issues each year when the new insurance "policy" period started. But, the absolute worst Specialty pharmacy was Accredo. They were rude, and very unhelpful. Now that my insurance (Coventry) has switched us to Aetna, it has been a nightmare. Accredo tried to fill my RX without my approval, and no insurance coverage. Then they refused to transfer my prescription to Aetna. However, Aetna worked with my neuro and Shared Solutions. They got the approvals and a new RX. Since we had to do all that anyway, I switched to the new 40mg. If anyone ever has a choice, use Aetna Specialty Pharmacy. They are wonderful!!
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Re: Generics, 40 mg. Copaxone and Teva

Postby itasara1 » Thu May 29, 2014 9:51 pm

THE business of drugs and insurance is very unfortunate in many ways from a patient point of view. I read thru these posts, and I too get all kinds of info. about the 40mg Copaxone including a free dinner to push the new 40mg. Copaxone. My neuro told me last year this 3x/wk Rx would be coming out. But guess what? I can't get it b/c my insurance company won't allow it. None of the patients on copaxone 20mg who are patients of my neurologist are getting it either. I now feel this is a big game they play. My ins. company is no doubt waiting for a generic roll out, but it will still be 7x/week. It considers taking Copaxone 3x/wk a "convenience" that is not eligible for them to pay. Teva is most likely wanting to push it b/c it will lose a lot of money if a generic drug is released. Then we will all be "forced" to use the generic form and the 40mg dose will still be unobtainable for many if not most of us. The system "stinks" and makes no logical sense except to those involved in the business of making money or not paying for service regardless of what the doctor or patient wants or what may be best for the patient. I don't consider puncturing oneself three times rather than 7 times a convenience! It is also less wasteful to dispose 156 syringes than 364 syringes.
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