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  • Androgel, Axiron, Androderm, & Fortesta

    Hi!

    Our insurer is requiring pre-authorization now for the Androgel 1.62% and has suggested some other options.

    Does anyone have any comments on:
    • Axiron (pump) $358 for 90 days
    • Androderm (patch) $78.18 for 90 days
    • Fortesta (pump) $358 for 90 days

    Prices are our contribution after insurance has paid.

    The Androgel was been around $350 for 90 days but I think it is getting ready to go off our plan.
    Heidi

    Husband - age 51
    10/20/10 - Primary mediastinal seminoma - 10 x 9.3 cm; -HCG = 33 (<2.6); AFP = 3.5 (<9); LDH = 274 (100-200 )
    11/1/10 4X BEP
    12/7/10 End Cycle 2 - -HCG = 2; AFP = 4.6; LDH = 139 ; 4XBEP changed to 3 as tumor now 2.1 x 3.7 cm
    2/15/11 - Post-chemo PET ; residual 8 mm x 2 cm
    6/29/11 - Lung nodules stable or smaller, chest mass continues to shrink & markers all normal
    Surveillance since 6/11

  • #2
    I doubt they are going to remove androgel, it's more likely they can get a better deal on the others & may be trying to push folks in that direction.

    In any event, I've not heard of Fortesta before, the Axiron is applied to the underarm area which seems ideal if transference to others is a concern.

    Chances are either one will work fine, but if he's getting the proper response from androgel, I'd be inclined to stick with what works unless the insurer pulls the plug completely.

    It's worth checking online, every testosterone replacement seems to offer some sort of free 30 day trial, plus coupons/rebates to reduce the cost. I'm currently getting a $40 rebate on my $290/month Testim prescription.

    I also have not heard of many who are completely happy with the patches. Skin irritation seems to be a common complaint, I've also heard complaints about them not staying stuck or just being uncomfortable.

    Hope that helps,

    Dave
    Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
    Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for that Dave, this is really useful information.

      His PSA and his hematocrit and hemoglobin is slightly above range, so I am wondering if they will lower his dose when he sees the doctor on Monday.
      Heidi

      Husband - age 51
      10/20/10 - Primary mediastinal seminoma - 10 x 9.3 cm; -HCG = 33 (<2.6); AFP = 3.5 (<9); LDH = 274 (100-200 )
      11/1/10 4X BEP
      12/7/10 End Cycle 2 - -HCG = 2; AFP = 4.6; LDH = 139 ; 4XBEP changed to 3 as tumor now 2.1 x 3.7 cm
      2/15/11 - Post-chemo PET ; residual 8 mm x 2 cm
      6/29/11 - Lung nodules stable or smaller, chest mass continues to shrink & markers all normal
      Surveillance since 6/11

      Comment


      • #4
        Ive been using Androgel since my diagnosis in 2001. This year, all of a sudden, they (my insurance) wanted a prior auth for it. 11 years and now they want a prior auth. They tried to make me us TESTIM which is like an entire TUBE of gel to apply daily. I refused. I fought. My Dr. got me the prior auth and they are now paying for the new Androgel 1.62 (only 2 pumps a day vs. 4 with the older).

        As for Fortesta, I tried that for a few months and it was effective. The reason I dont like it is it is NOT alcohol based as Androgel is. It is greasy feeling. But my levels were fine for the few months I was on it.

        Hope this helps - but if you like Androgel as I do - just have your MD do the prior auth and MAKE them pay. Once he did the auth, I have no issues filling and actually on the Androgel website they have a free card where I pay only $10 per month instead of my normal co-pay of $50....

        James
        James,
        Stage IIIa Seminoma
        4x BEP Completed 2/14/05
        james@tc-cancer.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I've been taking Axiron, and it's worked well for me. After insurance, I pay $12.00.

          My doctor preferred this over the gel, because it was less likely, that it would be transferred to my wife. Most women aren't going to rub their husband's armpits.
          Jan 2000 Left I/O
          Surveillance
          Dec 2011 cancer diagnosed in right testicle, and lymph node, followed by I/O
          Pathology report 100% pure seminoma
          March 5 2012 started chemo 4xEP
          May 11, 2012 Finished Chemo.
          October 29, 2012 All Clear.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by James View Post
            They tried to make me us TESTIM which is like an entire TUBE of gel to apply daily.
            The tube is pretty small, actually, it only has 5 grams in it (.16 ounce).
            Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
            Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been having very good results with Axiron. Compared to 1 tube (5 g) of Testim, 2 pumps (6 g) of Axiron gets my levels far higher and is much more user friendly (less sticky, faster evaporation, no touching).

              Biggest downside is the poor portability of the Axiron dispenser (would hate TSA to confiscate), so I use Testim when I go on the road.

              I previously was using Testopel pellets, but found the process to be onerous (4 surgeries/year) and the decline in surgeries between implants to be unacceptable. Basically, I was only having one "good" month on Testopel. I was supplementing with 5 g of Testim for the last month!
              7/2010: stage 1B mixed NSGCT. Left I/O + 1X BEP. TRT (pellets). All clear as of 8/2012

              Comment

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