There are requirements for Thalomid (thalidomide)that need to be fulfilled each month in order to get a prescription filled, and I neglected one of the steps. Each month I have to have a pregnancy test, and it has to be negative in order for Celgene to allow my prescription to be filled. UNC has been running a test along with my regular labs when I have blood drawn, and this month I had my blood work done in Pinehurst. It just slipped my mind. This put a hold on my Rx. If you’re a woman of childbearing age, you have to remember the following (I think it holds true for everyone else, except for the pregnancy test):

1. Monthly (negative) pregnancy test.
2. Monthly telephone survey.
3. 7 Days from the time the rx is authorized until it’s filled. After that, you have to go through the authorization process again.

When you call in for the telephone survey, there are several questions to answer. It used to be a live person, but it’s all automated now. You’re asked if you’ve shared your Thalomid with anyone else, if you’ve donated blood (we’re not allowed to), if you’re post-menopausal for more than 2 years, if you’ve had sex with a male partner in the last 4 weeks, if you used at least 2 of the recommended forms of contraception and if you’ve had a hysterectomy.

So… tomorrow I have to get a pregnancy test! It’s the last day I have to get the rx filled. Luckily, I have an appointment with my oncologist in Pinehurst at 10 am.


ThalomidThis is the package my thalidomide is dispensed in. The cost of the 200 mg a day as prescribed is over $1500 a month. The manufacturer has an assistance program to help folks who cannot pay, but the income requirements are so low that regular middle class people don’t qualify. If my insurance didn’t cover mine, and I had to be on 200 mg/day for a long time (like some people are), I would have to sell my house to pay for drugs! It angers me when I read about our government wasting money (or choosing to spend our money in other countries) when we have US citizens who cannot afford health care and medicines they need to stay alive.