Monday, July 13, 2015

For Those Who Are Taking Benlysta

Twenty years ago my rheumatologist diagnosed me with systemic lupus. It came after the traumatic illness (cancer) and death of my only brother. I was caring for him, my dad, and working full time. 

The one bit of information he shared with me was systemic lupus is an extremely expensive illness. He was right. It has been a struggle each month deciding which, if any or all, of the fifteen medications I can refill or buying food. 

This time last year I started Benlysta treatments. I'd go in once a month for a Benlysta infusion in hopes it would slow down the systemic lupus devouring my body. It was so very expensive. My insurance wouldn't cover all of the cost. I'm still making payments on the medication that didn't work for me. 

Instead of feeling better, I was sick two weeks out of the month from side effects. Yet this is the only medication specifically made to treat systemic lupus. In other words, I was twice as sick from taking the medication. Some people do quite well with it. I didn't. 

If you are taking Benlysta, please know you are not alone in the expense department. Be sure to read this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/30/how-new-drugs-helping-millions-of-americans-live-longer-are-also-making-them-go-broke/



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