If you have been following along I have been on Jakafi for a little over two years. If you notice on the front page there is a ticker on the bottom that kind of gives one an idea on retail of cancer medication. That value is based on today’s going rate for the medication. When I first started the medication it was much more expensive. A 30 day supply was upwards of $22,000 us.
Fortunately I am not paying that much thanks to insurance and the VA. However it is there just to give people an idea of how expensive cancer medication can really be.
Lets break the retail price down
I was prescribed 10mg twice daily up until my most recent appointment. At first they were giving me 20mg tablets times 60. I would cut those pills in half and take one half twice a day. When I first started taking Jakafi the retail price was around 22k for 60 tablets. After the first year we went to 30 pills and that price dropped to about 15k and this year by everything I can find its about 7k. Most recently they upped my dosage to 15mg twice daily so I received a 30 day supply of 15mg pills at a retail price of about 14k.
So what does that add up to? Over 800 pills or $325,000 worth of one medication over two years and one month. To put that into perspective. That is more money than I have grossed in the past 7 years. I have swallowed over $325,000 worth of medication, that is unreal.
If I continue on the same dosage that means an approximate retail price of $168k per year. Cost of a 10 year period on Jakafi not considering any price drops or increases will be around $1,699,000, just in Jakafi. More than I have grossed in my entire life.
What do I really pay for cancer medication?
Of course between insurance and the VA I don’t pay nearly that much. But my point is that the cost of any form of cancer is astronomical. Keep in mind all we are talking about here is one medication. I have been on Iron, Aspirin and others that would add to that.
Also we are not considering doctor’s visits, xrays, MRIs, BMBs, phlebotomies, labs, fuel and travel costs and all of the other small things that add up over time. Then consider increases in insurance premiums for both health and life insurance and a cancer patient can go broke very quickly.
For visual representation the image at the top of this page and also offered below is short just one bottle. I have been keeping these just to take this picture. This is what I have consumed in the last two years to stay healthy.