Disposal of unused Pegasys Interferon: I live in... - MPN Voice

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Disposal of unused Pegasys Interferon


I live in the US, and am discouraged at the wastefulness that the manufacturers of Pegasys Interferon have shown. Each vial holds 180micrograms of medication. Without insurance, this would cost between $1100 and $1400 PER WEEK!!! Fortunately, I pay only $25 per week, or $100 per month, with my insurance. I take 90 mcg per week, and have learned on this forum that many people only take 45mcg. The problem is, that we have to throw the rest of the vial away. I have asked the pharmacist, and my oncologist why I am not able to use the remaining medication the following week, and have not received a clear explanation. Both told me that it must be discarded. I feel terrible each time that I must throw away a medicine that is so incredibly expensive. Does anyone have any understanding of why the same vial can not be used for more than one injection? Secondly, why don't manufacturers make vials containing fewer micrograms, since it seems that many patients do not use the full 180mcgs? If this is carelessness on the manufacturers part, I think that we need to rally for change. If there is a clinical reason for it, then I will stop letting it bother me so much as I discard my unused portion each week. Thank you for any information that you can provide.

7 Replies

It is availble as 90 mcg can’t you request that strength?

in reply to Pingi

Hello, Pingi. Please let me know what manufacturer produces the 90mcg vials. Thanks much!

You have raised a topic that is a torn in my side too. I have discussed this waste with docs, haems, prescribing and dispensing pharmacists. They are all too low down in the chain to influence the pharmaceutical giants.

As earlier reply they now dispense in 90mg which is what I get and use 45mg and discard the rest. I used to get the 180 and discard the rest.

The reason given for not using a second time is there is no chemical in it to safely use it twice. Longer life stabliser. Second you can't use needle a second time.

However as you say when patients pay their own and can save a lot of money they do so. It is easy to buy needles. (I have a box of smaller needles to replace the bigger ones supplied.) So a new needle is used for 2nd dose.

My brother works for a pharmaceutical giant in IT. Their production process is immense and so complicated. It is like a bohamoth resistant to adapting to lowering it's profit margins.

Good luck with your desire to change it.


Hello. I live in Indiana and my insurance won't cover pegasus. I can't buy it because it's very expensive here. I am buying it in Europe for about $300 for 180mgr. That's 4 doz. I using all. Just changing needles. Needless getting from insulin cartridges. I would love to get that you disregarded!

What insurance company you are in? Maybe I should change...


in reply to Gesha


Can you please share where are you buying Pegasys from? I live in Croatia and Pegasys is not approved for ET or MPNs here, just for hepatitis, so I was thinking I could buy Pegasys and give it a try so I could make a case to my hematologist if it turns out to be working better than regular Interferon.

Thanks and all the best,


in reply to zvinkovic

Hello Zlata

I'm buying Pegasys in Ukraine. Going to Kiev in August for another one year supply. Getting it throughout a hepatologist doctor. If you need help for getting it let me know I can help!

Thanks and stay positive!

in reply to Gesha

My insurance is through my employer, and I am a teacher. I therefore am very lucky to have excellent coverage. I wish we could make some changes so that it is more available to ALL people. I have been in touch with someone who works for a large pharmaceutical company. She said that it is going to be a very uphill battle to get changes in place.

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