I am waiting for funding for this drug, Rituximab

My rheumy consultant has been trying for months now to get the funding for this drug (Rituximab). He has appealed three times now without success, so I was wandering how the others have managed to get this drug, was it easy or difficult?

I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder (SLE) with fibrosis of the lung. I am now using ambulatory oxygen so I can have a normal life (if that is possible). I also have all the other lupus symptoms and have had all the drugs that are given but nothing has helped. I am just on 10mg of Prednisolone now.

Right now I am going through a flare and yet another urinary tract infection.

5 Replies

  • Good luck with your application. I had to write to my sister's MP, her GP, her consultant and the NHS trust to get her funding for her severe arthritis (this was on the advice of her consultant who wanted to prescribe it). It's all down to cost, as usual, but the NHS can still fund breast augmentations for wannabee glamour models!

    Don't give up!

  • Hiya i know a couple of fellow lupies who get this drug - as far as i know they were given it because all other maintenance drugs failed to work effectively. I met a girl at a lupus meeting who gets this she is only 23 yrs and has no lung/heart involvement. I myself have lung scarring/heart involvement but i haven't been offered this drug and im starting to wonder why, as people that are on it tell me it has transformed their lives whereas i still have quite bad symptoms with lungs and im scared of further damage. Im def gonna mention to Rheummy. Keep fighting for this drug its disgusting with your lupus so severe that you have been turned down - dont give up!

  • Thanks all for your advice and encouragement. My rheumy is waiting for a colleague who is higher up in the profession to pull some strings. I just keep praying the funding will become available for this drug and that it will work and I won't be disappointed.

  • I first had rituximab in 2005 and like you there was a dispute over which department was going to fund it. Now back then this drug had only been certified in the USA but had good results. At the time I found out it cost £4,500 per infusion and each individual needs 2 infusions which is 9k in total!!! But hey as they say you can't put a price on someone's life. As it a form of chemo it can cause you to be very sick. When I had back then I had four years of great remission. I can describe it as having a body transplant. Then in 2009 I had it for the second time no arguments.

    I just hope you get the outcome you desire. Living with a chronic condition is not easy and we all deserve some form of quality of life.

    All the best x

  • Thanks for the information, not really looking forward to the side effects when I do get it.

You may also like...