Hemophilic patients are fighting a lot of battles to find the treatments they need, with one being the cost of their medications. The cost of a single dose of the most expensive drug in the world, Elixinol, will go from $8,000 to $336,000! So what’s behind that price tag?
Well, as you might imagine, it’s complicated. That’s why we’re going to give you some insight into what makes it so high and how you can work against these costs yourself.
Hemophilia is a rare, blood-related genetic condition. Hemophilia comes in two different forms: hemophilia A and hemophilia B.
Hemophilia A is caused by a deficiency of factor VIII, which is necessary to clot blood properly.
Hemophilia B is caused by a deficiency of factor IX, which helps stop bleeding.
There are treatments for both hemophilia A and B, but they come with a cost. Treatment for hemophilia A can cost as much as $50,000 per year, while treatment for hemophilia B can cost up to $500,000 per year.
That is why it is critical to understand how much these treatments cost in order to provide the best care possible for your loved one.
The Cost of A Dose of Factor VIII, $2 Billion for a 3-Day Treatment Cycle
Factor VIII is a blood clotting protein that helps to prevent bleeding. Hemophilia A, the most common type of hemophilia, is caused by a deficiency in factor VIII. This can lead to uncontrolled bleeding and can be life-threatening.
The cost of a dose of factor VIII has soared in recent years. In 2003, the cost of a 3-day treatment cycle was $1.4 billion.
As of 2018, the price for the same treatment cycle has more than doubled to $2 billion. The high costs of factor VIII are due to the high demand for the drug and the scarcity of the supply.
The high price of factor VIII has led to criticism from patients and their families who say that it is unfair that they are forced to pay such a high price for a medication that is essential for their health.
Some lawmakers have called on drug companies to reduce the prices of factor VIII so that more people can access it affordably.
Who Is Affected By Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder caused by blood proteins not being made well or not being made at all. There are two main types of hemophilia: classic hemophilia, which affects males, and von Willebrand disease, which affects females.
Classic hemophilia is the most common type. It causes people to bleed often, especially when they get cuts or scratches.
Von Willebrand disease is less common but can cause longer-term problems including difficulty in working or even walking due to bleeding episodes.
According to the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF), an estimated 5,000 people in the United States have classic hemophilia and about 25,000 have von Willebrand disease.
The cost of treating hemophilia can be significant, with annual treatment costs reaching as high as $4 million per person. In addition to treatment costs, individuals with hemophilia may also experience significant social and vocational limitations as a result of their condition.
The cost of treating hemophilia does not stop at financial expenses alone. People with hemophilia may also have physical problems because of their condition, like being less mobile or having less strength.
Additionally, individuals with classic hemophilia may experience increased susceptibility to other infections due to the frequent occurrence of cuts and scratches.
Treating With Factor VIII: The Surprising Risks and Costs
Factor VIII is a critical component of blood clotting, and without it, individuals with hemophilia can experience serious bleeding complications. Because of its importance, Factor VIII treatments can be costly. In the United States, the average cost of a single injection of factor VIII is $9,000.
The high cost of factor VIII treatments has led to a debate about whether or not they are worth it. Some researchers say that the benefits of factor VIII treatment outweigh the costs, while others say that the costs are too high and that alternatives like gene therapy should be looked into instead.
Regardless of the merits of individual cases, one thing is clear: The price tag for factor VIII treatments will stun you.
Alternative Treatments For Hemophilia
Alternative treatments for hemophilia can be costly, but they may be worth it if they save a patient’s life. Here are the average costs of various hemophilia treatments:
Hemophilia A: $262,000 per year
Hemophilia B: $204,000 per year
Factor VIII treatment: $94,000 per year
Bleeding time management: $9,600 per year
Alternative treatments for hemophilia may be more expensive than traditional treatments, but they could save a patient’s life. Factor VIII treatment is the most expensive option and costs around $94,000 annually.
Bleeding time management is also relatively expensive, costing around $9,600 per year. However, these therapies could potentially save a patient from death or disability.
Hemophilia A can cost upwards of $262,000 each year while Hemophilia B can cost as much as $204,000 annually.