IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin) Cost in 2011

Not so long ago, I searched for numbers that would guide me, or a good idea of how much money our family would have to ‘find’ in order to pay for a promising treatment for J. IVIG. I could find nothing recent. After speaking with the hospital insurance liaison, the number was determined to be just over $5000 per day, treatment lasting two days at a time. We counted on $10,000 for treatment. We were wrong.

So today, I’m putting forth this quick indication for anyone searching for this information. The first is for a “typical” round of IVIG therapy, over two days time for a child 60 lbs. The second is slightly more, I believe because veins were blown and more ‘materials’ in terms of needles, lines, gauze, etc. were used. I’ll let the papers speak for themselves.

Please click to enlarge.

Round 1

IVIG Costs $39,168.35
The Cost of IVIG -1

Round 2

IVIG cost $42,107.50
The Cost of IVIG -2

Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin is a former Victim’s Advocate who now advocates for those with intellectual and physical challenges. Her eldest son is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Electrical Status Epilepticus during Sleep / Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) and Developmental Delays. In June, 2012, her son also underwent a successful hemispherectomy. Gina is the editor, author and owner of Special Happens, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and resides in Colorado where she is a mother of 3, wife, blogger, writer and special needs advocate. You can reach Gina through various Special Happens connections on Facebook and Twitter, or email her directly.
Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin

9 Responses to IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin) Cost in 2011

  1. WOW. Is it the drugs that are so expensive, or the drug delivery procedure? Or both?

    And how much did the doctor charge?

    And how can any medical facility/insurance company expect the average family to pay for this stuff?

    • Kim, I know…right! It silenced me a good few seconds when I read that. I don’t think it’s the delivery procedure, it’s through and IV, no doc is involved, just the RNs administering. I think it’s the medication itself. It’s from a pooled blood source that’s cleaned and then stripped of the immunoglobulins that’s needed to make it. I know it takes several thousand people to make not that much…. Crazy!

  2. [...] The bills pile up. Piles. Of bills. Some years more than $15,000.00 out of pocket. Medicaid wait lists are long. Years long. Resources are slim. It’s expensive. SO expensive. Paperwork appears on your desk in mounds. Seemingly endless pages of paperwork, much redundant, all of it necessary. The story told over and again so that another resource is accessed; another resource that proves useless…more paperwork appears. You begin again. Pay again. [...]

  3. I found this blog entry while researching costs of IVIG for work (via Google search). I work for the largest distributor of IVIG, Grifols (formerly, Talecris) Biotherapeutics. From my end, I can see where most of the cost is incurred. It takes approximately 5000 bottles of human plasma to make 1 bottle for IVIG. this means, 5000 healthy people aged 18-65, come into a donor center, get a physical, screening, and end up donating their plasma for just one bottle of IVIG. Other medications, like Prolastin, are also made from plasma, but IVIG is the most critical and most necessary. One a donor donates his plasma, the bottle is processed at a local donor center, where three vials are taken and sent to an off-site lab for testing. Each donor’s plasma is tested every single time they donate. The bottle doesn’t even leave the donor facility until at least two bottles have been tested. After the test vials come back with no “viral markers”, the bottles are sent to a huge facility that we plasma people call a fractionation plant. There, thousands of bottles of plasma are put into a huge cat where the plasma can be mixed and tested again. If that test shows any trace of disease, the entire source is incinerated. After it passes the tests, the plasma is separated and eventually made into medication. The whole process is very long and expensive. What starts with someone wanting to make a quick 20-40 bucks (avg donor pay per donation), ends with a medication going into the body of a very ill individual. It’s sad the medication is so expensive to consumers, but there is a lot of work that goes into the process ensuring that it is safe. I’m glad your child can benefit from this wonderful, life-saving medication! Best wishes!

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