Sunday, December 6, 2015

The high cost of Minocin, more reliance on diet

Another drug company just bought the trademark rights to Minocin, though I understand that the same previous company is still manufacturing it. And the price has skyrocketed to $1670 for 30 100mg capsules, retail price. My drug coverage paid $1200 of that for my last refill, but I understand that this drug will no longer be covered by ANY insurance (even as a Tier 4 drug) after March 2016. However, on a positive note, Minocin/Minomycin is once again available thru Canadian pharmacies (or was a few weeks ago when I checked). So I am going to get a prescription for 100 capsules and order thru a Canadian pharmacy...price is around $200/100caps.

I recently had shoulder surgery for a rotator cuff injury, and then six weeks later I twisted my right knee. Within two days BOTH of my knees were suddenly swollen and stiff!! At first I though it was just the twisted knee causing that (I could barely walk, and twisting one knee put stress on the other knee). But after a few weeks, and using my inversion table to realign my knee, I found that I still had a lot of swelling both in my knee and my ankles. I went to see my Rheumatologist for a regular follow up visit, he gave me a general shot of cortisone, which over the next 10 days reduced the swelling. Four days later I saw my Orthopedic surgeon, who advised me to do some quadriceps exercises.

With the cortisone and the exercises, I am again able to walk fairly normally, but the knees are still a bit stiff, and I have a problem driving. Hoping that improves quickly.

I am really working on the diet and supplements, as well as the Minocin. I may start taking 200mg every M-W-F instead of 100.   And I am taking D3, Curcumin (Turmeric), Fish Oil, Probiotics, and getting some Glucosamine HCL (not sulfate, and sulfa is hostile to my RA). For diet, I am virtually gluten free (occasionally eat something fried, like chicken...)(Barilla makes EXCELLENT GF pasta!!) and try to eat Salmon several times a week, as well as Kale, blueberries with yogurt, apples and bananas, green salads, green veggies, carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken, fish, turkey, rice. Stay away from niteshade vegetables, and corn.

I am not taking any NSAIDS or pain killers for my knee. I find using a patella strap is the best support, as a full brace is overkill. Simple leg lifts to build the quadriceps while not involving the knee will hopefully help with the knee support. I have been able to walk roughly 3/4 of a mile with no pain, so that is progress!

And the ride continues......

Monday, June 1, 2015

Just a quick recommendation regarding the high cost of Minocin and Vibramycin

Because the generics (minocycline, doxycycline) may not work, and because of the change in ownership of the brand MINOCIN (now owned by Onset Pharmaceuticals), you may find that a 30 day supply of this drug is quite costly. It is no longer available thru Canadian pharmacies purchasing the product from other countries. In fact, I believe the price for those whose insurance does not cover this medication is right around $500 for 30 - 100mg capsules. I am on Medicare, with a supplement and additional Rx insurance. That insurance company does not cover Minocin as even a Tier 4 drug. However, I did discover that you can petition the insurance company for an exemption to cover your Minocin, if you have tried and failed to respond to the generic brands. My doctor had to send in a letter confirming that we tried the generic brands, and they failed to work, while Minocin (brand ) works. I was able to get at 66% discount on the cost of my medication! (you need to say you are using 1 per day). Since I only use an AVERAGE of 3 per week, (sometimes more, if a flare starts up), that prescription lasts me for two months. So the monthly cost is around $88. Much more manageable. So, if you find that your insurance will not cover this, and are on Medicare plus a Medicare drug prescription policy, see if you can get an exemption. They will send you the instructions.