infusion centers?

A board to discuss the newly-released drug Tysabri, (formerly known as Antegren) as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

infusion centers?

Postby amelia » Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:58 am

Has anyone come across where the infusion centers will be located in the US?
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Postby Cagso » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:25 am

Biogen sent me a brochure that mentioned there would be about 1000 infusion centers in the U.S. Don't quote me on the number, but I'm pretty sure that's what it said. I remember being surprised it would be that many. I don't know that there will be one in Grenada, Mississippi, but I imagine there will be one within a reasonable distance.

I'm sorry I can't be more definite about the number, but of course I threw the brochure away after reading it.
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Postby amelia » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:35 am

I know nothing in Grenada, Mississippi, as we just got 1 neuro not long ago. We go to Memphis, TN and Jackson, MS is the same distance. I am pretty sure Jackson will get one. We have a pretty well know MS Clinic there. Just curious if anyone had heard anything definite. Thanks
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Postby leeeeeway » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:41 pm

My neuro is going to have an infusion ctr in her office. Biogen is to view/cert her site July 11th, last I heard...Tysabri infusions 2nd week of August...I came to the website to see if anyone else has more than that to report...
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Postby amelia » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:06 am

What part of US are you located in? We are in Mississipi, but will most likey be using Memphis, TN.
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Postby leeeeeway » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:11 pm

I'm gonna have to do that profile thing one of these days...

The neuro is in Loveland Colorado...about 45 miles north of Denver, I guess...

One of the things that we have going for us is lots of neuros in the area who specialize in MS. Is there an upside to having MS here? Yes, this is one.
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Postby amelia » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:49 pm

They have a big MS clinic in Jackson, MS that will more than likely be an infusion center. It would be okay to go there, but would prefer our regular DR in Memphis. She is in a large neuro clinic with many locations, so that could be a plus too. We are located about 100 miles from both locations.
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Postby leeeeeway » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:07 pm

Needless to say (so I always wonder why I do) there is bound to be a great deal of markup for whoever gives the med...I think the world of this doc but let there be no mistake there is big profit in it for her. I have heard (from the Biogen rep, actually) that she has the largest number of MS patients in Northern Colorado so I'm not sure if we would have a center here otherwise. I did get Tysabri at the hospital here before but with this extra layer of bureaucracy from the FDA it's a whole new game...
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minimal markup

Postby batpere » Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:28 pm

leeeeeway wrote:Needless to say (so I always wonder why I do) there is bound to be a great deal of markup for whoever gives the med...I think the world of this doc but let there be no mistake there is big profit in it for her. I have heard (from the Biogen rep, actually) that she has the largest number of MS patients in Northern Colorado so I'm not sure if we would have a center here otherwise. I did get Tysabri at the hospital here before but with this extra layer of bureaucracy from the FDA it's a whole new game...

Well, last year before it was halted I had recommended to the head neuro at my clinic that they add an infusion center to get some of this extra money. His reply was that "there is no money to be made" in doing the infusions. And, in fact, I saw that the insurance doesn't allow much for the infusion after the in-network writeoff is taken. The only people paying massive charges are those without insurance or have to go out-of-network. There should be minimal markup on the drug and only a small amount for the infusion. Maybe there will be more now that there is a known risk.
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Postby amelia » Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:35 am

Anybody heard anything about Medicare's take on all of this? We have been under foundations before and I know there is one for Tysabri, got the number and all, but wondered how Medicare will handle it. There part D SUCKS! as far as Gary's MS and drugs are concerned.
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Postby leeeeeway » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:29 am

Since it is an infusion and was given at the hospital it was a Part B issue not D. (sorry to my international friends who don't care about such "parts") The billing numbers used by the docs/hospitals to get their payments from the gov were approved before it was introduced the first time. (sort of like Avonex at a docs vs self administered)

Interesting point Batpere about the markup on the drug...I wonder what part Medicare plays in that, too. I will start asking questions...
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Postby amelia » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:49 am

You know, we are paying out the WAZOO for Medicare Part D. Did it for Copaxon, but scared to let it go because of the FEAR of whatelse may come down the road that he needs. They have such a scare tactic on the lack of Part D that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't and broke either way!
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Postby leeeeeway » Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:19 pm

Instead of paying 5% of the cost for Betaseron under Part D I found a big name ins co (Aetna) who charges the same amt for it that they do for Lipitor ie $40 a month plus the premium charge I hope this will all become a moot point when Tysabri becomes available but you might keep the idea "in your back pocket"...for some reason I just don't trust this Tysabri deal yet. Maybe when I have been on it for a year or two my skepticism about the whole thing will end. In the meantime, maybe Aetna has Copaxone on the same formulary as Betaseron. I'm sure you know you can't change plans until November and I sure don't mean this as an advertisement for Aetna. What a bunch of bums..

Since the drug cos wrote part D I hope they are enjoying it...it sure is one screwed up mess. I believe strongly in profit but this is way past unfair...
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Postby amelia » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:49 am

Ours is United American. The highest in premium, but has no deductible. The ones available in our area, at the time, were either this one, another on with $250.00 deductible per year and small co pay and another one that was $250.00 deductible AND $300.00 per month for Copaxon. Are these people dreaming or what! I am not supporting or bad mouthing any company, just the whole Medicare Part D. Of course, our big disability payment, WAY UNDER $1,000.00 monthly, leaves not many options.
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Postby Dunmann » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:32 am

Here is a press release about a company called Coram which will offer Tysabri at selected infustion sites.


Coram, Inc. Infusion Suites Now Providing Tysabri Infusions
Wednesday August 23, 6:32 pm ET

DENVER, Aug. 23, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Coram, Inc., a leading national provider of specialty home infusion and specialty pharmaceutical distribution services, has announced that it has been approved to provide Tysabri(r) (natalizumab), the monotherapy treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Coram treated its first Tysabri patient at its Boise, Idaho branch on August 14, 2006. Currently, Tysabri is offered at select Coram Infusion Suites throughout the country; it is anticipated the treatment will be available through all Coram suites by the end of September, 2006.

``We are pleased to add Tysabri to the extensive list of treatments available at our infusion suites,'' said John J. Arlotta, Coram's Chairman and CEO. ``Coram's 25-year history as a provider of specialty infusion services makes us the perfect choice for the administration of Tysabri, and our nationwide network of infusion suites provides patients with a safe, convenient environment in which to receive these treatments.''

Reintroduced June 5, 2006 by Elan and Biogen Idec, Tysabri is indicated for patients with relapsing forms of MS to slow the worsening of disabilities associated with the disease and to decrease the number of exacerbations. Generally, it is prescribed for patients who don't respond to or tolerate other treatments for MS.

Tysabri is administered through a highly restricted distribution program called the TOUCH(tm) Prescribing Program. With over 50 current and planned ambulatory infusion suites throughout the country, Coram will have the capability to perform Tysabri treatments nationwide.

About Coram

Coram is a leading national provider of specialty home infusion and specialty pharmaceutical distribution services. With more than 70 full-service branch pharmacies, the company offers both national presence and comprehensive local coverage. Coram's 25 years of experience, clinical expertise and commitment to positive outcomes has earned it a reputation for excellence among patients, clinicians and payors nationwide. The company is nationally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc. For more information about Coram, visit http://www.coramhc.com or call 1.800.CoramHC.
Dunmann.
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