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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:54 am 
I live in central/eastern VA, in a large city, and I have looked into switching on to generic Subutex to lower my costs. But I checked with Walgreen's, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart, and with or without insurance the generic buprenorphine is much more expensive (20-30%) than brand-name Suboxone. What gives?
James


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:23 am 
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I just switched from suboxone to subutex today because of the difference in cost. There is a big price difference between the two medicines but you have to make sure that you are getting the correct information from the pharmacist. First if you ask for the generic form of suboxone they are going to Give you the price for buprenorphine which is for what ever reason more expensive than suboxone. You need to specifically ask for the generic form of the buprenorphine which is subutex and this is much cheaper, almost 50% cheaper. I know you are thinking that buprenorphine is the active ingredient in the suboxone and indeed it is, but for some reason they sell buprenorphine as the brand version and subutex as the generic. So you have to look at it like this, they sell three versions of this medicine(at least thats all that I know Walgreens carries) suboxone, buprenorphine and subutex. Believe me I have been going back and forth for the last 2 weeks trying to get my insurance company to cover suboxone and unfortunately they wouldn't thats why I switched to the subutex they will cover this form of the medicine for the sol reason "its cheaper". Make sure you explain to the pharmacist the difference between the active ingredients in the suboxone compared to the subutex. Some of them are not that familiar with all the forms of the medicine. Hope you understand all of this and good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:13 am 
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Im going to be asking my dr to switch me to the subutex cause its cheaper. So, let me get this straight. I have to specifically ask the pharmacist for the "generic subutex" ????


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:16 pm 
Joseph - what is the insurance company's excuse for not covering the Sub? It's an FDA approved medication for a legitimate illness - like Dr. J said, it's like insulin for a diabetic. It infuriates me that your insurance would deny you. What kind of insurance is it?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:38 pm 
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I live in PA and I haven't heard of one insurance company that covers sub.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:39 pm 
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I'm in Michigan and BCBS covers my suboxone.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I recently switched from Suboxone to the generic Subutex and it is MUCH cheaper....even with my insurance. I was paying a $60 copay for bran name suboxone, and now I pay $10 for 30 2mg generic Subutex, but the cash price is still only $44. My insurance (United) covers it with a pre-authorization, but, and this is great, they only cover a 60 day supply every 90 days....yup, you read that right...so I have to pay every 3rd month. I worked an an insurance biller for 5 years, and I am pretty familiar with insurance crap, and I would be happy to help out in any way if you need it...please feel free to pm me.

My favorite denial was Cigna who denied payment for anesthesia for the complex removal of an impacted tooth in an 8 year old...they claimed that anesthesia wasn't medically necessary....I wonder if their CEO would like to try out the procedure himself and see if it is necessary. :twisted:

Also, not sure if this is a pharmacy thing or what, but I take the generic Subutex, and it is prescribed and despensed as bueprenorpine.....not Subutex. In fact, when I first switched, my doctor just wrote the script for Subutex, and the pharmacy filled the brand name....which was just as expensive as the Suboxone and was dispensed as "Subutex" (this was on the label on the bottle). I spoke to the pharmacist, she switched it for the generic (I fill another med with brand name, and she thought I always wanted brand name meds...which I don't)...the new label now reads "buprenorphine" (or however you spell it :roll: ).

RTLMom...I would just tell your doctor that you want to switch to Subutex, make sure he doesn't mark anything on the script that prohibits dispensing a generic, and make sure to tell the pharmacist that you want the generic....whatever they want to call it....just tell them to give you the cheep stuff. :D

Good Luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Thanks Elizabeth! I will def. be asking him at my next appt!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:35 pm 
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Hey Lilly, the insurance company's excuse was that I havent tried the generic and since the generic is so much cheaper they wanted me to try that and see if it had the same effect. So there reason is solely based on money$$$


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:46 pm 
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RTLmom, no ask for the generic form of buprenorphine which is subutex. Just check with the pharmacist to see what is cheaper between suboxone, buprenorphine and subutex.


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 Post subject: $uboxone and In$.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Just to add some more info to this thread.......... I live in Mass. and my Suboxone in covered by "Harvard Pilgrim HMO" and before that by "BCBS HMO" with my regular co-pay for that tiered Drug....
Just wanted to get my experience out there..
Have a great day....

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:08 pm 
Medicare covers Suboxone, Subutex and generic (with a co-pay) 100%. So, if worst comes to worse and you have to go on S.S. Disability, or you retire, your Suboxone will be covered.
James


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm 
Ok, someone said that 30 2 mg generic Subutex are $44. That's the same price as paying cash for Suboxone brand. Just getting a cheaper co-pay doesn't mean the medicine is cheaper. I'm talking about cash prices, not with insurance. I did call the pharmacies and ask about generic Subutex. It's higher. It's just that the insurance companies pay less for it, so they give lower co-pays. To buy it with cash is more expensive.
Also, to ask for the generic of buprenorphine is redundant. Buprenorphine is the generic name of Subutex.
James


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:37 pm 
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James,

I'm the one who gave the price quite, and maybe my post wasn't clear (wouldn't be the first time :) ). I was talking about cash prices, since I have to pay cash every third month. I was just saying that, even when I have to pay cash for the generic Subutex (which is $44), it is still cheaper than having to pay the $60 copay I was paying when I was on the brand name Suboxone.

Also, I know that prices vary from location to location and from pharmacy to pharmacy, but here, the generic Subutex is much cheaper than the brand Suboxone....when talking about cash prices. The price for generic Subutex is about $1.40 per 2mg pill vs. about $4.60 per 2mg pill for the Suboxone at Walgreens in my area.

I agree about the generic of Subutex being Buprenorphine....

Hope that clears things up!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:59 am 
It's not that I don't believe you all.....you know what? I think what happened is the Medicare cost calculator (which is usually dead accurate) is all screwed up in this case. I think when I'm putting Buprenorphine in, it's giving me the list price for brand Subutex. That's the only expectation. I'll start getting quotes from pharmacist. Thanks for all the replies, and all the patience with my hard-headedness!
James


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Costco and Sam's Club sells generic subutex for $1.50 each cash. I hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:52 pm 
I called my Sam's pharmacy and priced generic Subutex 8 mg, quantity 23 which is all I need per month. The cost is $71.68. That's $3.10 a pill, which is exactly half the cost of Suboxone! Awesome!
James


Last edited by SubSupporter on Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:55 pm 
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Hey James, I'm not sure about ReReaise, but I was taking about the 2mg pills in my post yesterday.

E

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"Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind."
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 Post subject: cool...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:45 pm 
Elizabeth,

everything makes sense now. Sam's Club charges $1.50 for the 2 mgs, and $3.10 for the 8 mgs. Which lines up exactly with the $44 you quoted.
James

p.s.....how did you get down to 2 mg a day? If i go down to 4 mg, slowly but surely my cravings return. I've done it three times. Must be individual biology.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Hey James,

Glad you found the prices to be lower than you thought...you actually scared me for a minute!

As far as the taper, I am actually taking 4mg/day right now, but I was down to 2mg until a month ago. I have been having a lot of trouble with anxiety, and this anxiety really increased the cravings. So, my doctor put me on an SSRI, and then increased the sub to 4mg to help fight the cravings until the anti-depressant kicks in.

When I did taper, I used the 2mg pills and went down 1mg every 7-10 days, until I was down to 2mg. I had no real problems until I went from 4-2mg....that was really hard for me. I actually went down in smaller increments by breaking the tablet into quarters. This worked pretty well.

I think the trick with tapering is to know that you aren't going to feel great for a few days, but that you will eventually be fine, and keep your mind occupied. There are a lot of really good threads about this topic, especially the one on the liquid taper method.

I think you are absolutely right...a lot of this is individual biology. Also, I think it matters how long you have been on the sub, and what your dose has been. I never took over 8mg/day, and only did this for a few weeks, so going from 8-4 was a much smaller step than going from 24-4.

One more really weird trick that I used. I found that I would crave more sub in the late afternoon. So, in addition to trying to stay busy during that time, I tried to do things that would prevent me from taking the sub. For example, I would eat something, or chew gum, or call someone (can't talk and sub at the same time....at least not very well :D ) This may not be scientific, but it kept me from taking more sub.

I'm sure there are lots of other good suggestions.

E

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