Some progress. (Fingers crossed.)
I spoke with my rheumatologist’s office last week and they had submitted all the paperwork to Xeljsource which is the patient support arm and (I believe) the direct pharmacy for Xeljanz distribution. So I called Xeljanz. After I had gotten through the maze of the “push this button” maze, and spoke to a human, they were quite pleasant and helpful. Yes, they have the paperwork (finally). Yes, it’s in process. No, there’s no way to estimate how long the insurance approval will take. Yes, I’ve been approved for a (free) two-week sample of the drug which they will try to expedite.
There is a timing issue here. I will be out of town at the end of the month and if I don’t get the prescription filled soon, then it will expire while I’m traveling. Hopefully the two-week sample is in addition to the full month, which should be more than enough to see me through my travels.
Today my rheumatologist’s office called me. They have received some samples of the drug. I can go by their office and pick them up, so by tomorrow I should have my first dose of Xeljanz. About 10 minutes after the call from the rheumatologist, Xeljsource called me back to confirm that my two-week sample will be delivered on Tuesday. So between them and my doctor, I should have about a full month’s supply to get me started. (For free!)
Even though it’s a pill form, it’s every bit as expensive as the other biologics that weigh in (depending on your pharmacy and prescription) between $2000 and $3000 per month, so getting a free month is, indeed, a blessing.
In the meantime, I’m “gimping” along with my 20 mg of leflunomide, the 7.5 mg of meloxicam (NSAID), and temporarily, some prednisone. Hopefully the Xeljanz will kick in quickly with few side effects.
So that’s the update on the drug situation. Hope you’re doing well. Thanks for checking in.