Confirmation please anyone?

I was put on Humira but it failed for me sadly, my Consultant wants to put me on Rituximab but I have to go through the funding channel again along with the usual chest x-ray, blood tests and 2 DAS score reports!

I would have throught as it had been approved before I wouldnt have to wait again, got an appointment mid Feb for 2nd DAS score so assume it will be about another 6 weeks after that - but why the wait?

Im on 20mg prednisilone daily and without that I would be in bed and unable to function at all, im just a tad unhappy at how long it all takes .................................................................................

Thank you to all that reply, I appreciate any advice,

PS: I saw my Consultant Dec, e-mailed twice for confirmation of what will happen next, got this appointment now in Feb - why does it take sooooooooooooooooooo long?????? or am I just being impaitent? its coming up to 3 years now and it just takes far too long, I want my life back or at least to feel 50% better than I did 3 years ago :( Im sorry to moan and apologise to those who have suffered and are still suffering for far longer than me xx

2 Replies

  • Gosh I feel for you. And how. I'm waiting for my ritiximab too, but my new rheumy is fast and got me an appointment within 2 weeks of deciding where to go next. I was already on biologics so perhaps that helped? The previous doctor made me wait and wait - it was almost six months between her deciding to re-diagnose me and getting back on to biologics and I had to go through MRI scans etc.

    I'm wondering whether there is something about where you live and funding? I'm in Scotland.

    Hope you get it soon and watch out for several different people reporting about how they get on with ritiximab.

  • Beckyboo,

    The wait for a new biologic can depend a lot on how you are paying for the drug. If you have private insurance through your work or you bought a policy aftermarket, you can usually get onto a new Biologic without a wait.

    However if you have no private insurance and need government funding or you are getting funding through the pharmaceutical company to pay for the drugs, there may be a wait because the Biologics are all made by different pharmaceutical companies, and there is an funding application for each company that requires your doctor to prove you need the drug before they will give you funding.

    Humira is made by the pharmaceutical company AbbVie and funding may be obtained directly through them via your doctor. Embrel is co-marked by Amgen & Pfizer, and Wyeth is the original marketer outside North America, and will have their own application process. Some government funding may not even go through the drug companies, and they may have a different criteria you must meet before they will give you funding, it depend where in the world you live, they all do things a bit different.

    Some doctors are also faster than others with their paperwork. Interestingly enough, there are peak times when applications get back logged and can cause a delay. I was told by my Humira Consultant that last Nov-Dec the wait jumped to a 12-16 week wait, but before that in July-Aug it was a 6 week wait.

    My Humira was delayed for 13 weeks as I had to wait for my application for Humira to be approved.

    My situation was complicated because I also have private insurance, which in theory should have got me onto the drug right away. Although my private insurance would have paid for Humira right away, my Rheumy had me wait until the Humira funding government application was approved because my private insurance company has a cap on the amount I can spend per year on a Biolgic per year. If I had gone ahead and went right on Humira my private insurance would have covered me for about three months, then if I had no funding in place from Humira to take over funding, I would have had to stop the drug and wait for the funding. You don't want to stop taking Humira once you started. So my doctor waited until all the funding was in place, now once my private insurance is exhausted, the other assisted program takes over the costs seamlessly, I just keep paying the deductibles.

    I am sorry to hear Humira is not working for you. I hope your Rheumy can get you onto another Biologic drug that works for you!

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