James has seen quite a few specialist veterinarians recently. Specialist #1 gave James his high dose prednisone to slow down his immune system since James was initially anemic and had zero platelets. Just in case J’s immune system was attacking itself, we had to stop it. But Specialist #1 also added in Mycophenolate, also known as CellCept. Mycophenolate is used for organ transplants – it keeps your body from rejecting the new organ. In James’ case, it was an additional immune suppressant.
Specialist #1 did say he had some expensive recommendations such as stem cell therapy and a few other things like medications. When he discharged James and sent us on our way (we were heading to a new city), he gave us a small amount of Mycophenolate and he didn’t charge us for it because he happened to have some for his dog. When we got to the next city and saw Specialist #2, we told her we would need a refill on the Mycophenolate. She told me I would need to go to a human pharmacy. She said the compounding pharmacy would be our best bet, but it would take 48 hours to prepare the prescription and we were almost out of the medication. So she gave us a prescription for the oral solution of Mycophenolate.
I always use my GoodRx app on my iPhone for prescriptions. Usually WalMart has the best pricing, but sometimes it is cheaper to go somewhere else. I pulled up the oral solution of Mycophenolate and wow did I get a surprise! $1,232 was the lowest price at Costco!!! And here is the crazy thing – I talked to the pharmacist at WalMart and because James is a dog and not a human, they don’t accept coupons! I asked the pharmacist if she could try anyway and she did. Sure enough, it didn’t work. AND the price without a coupon? $2500!!!! I am thankful that I had the GoodRx app so I was prepared. Usually when I drop things off at WalMart and they are pricey the pharmacist confirms the price with me.
If you do need Mycophenolate for your dog, I would suggest the tablet form. According to GoodRx the human price is $43. But since the coupons on GoodRx don’t work for dogs, we had to pay full price at $155. Pricey, but better than $2500!
A few interesting stories come from this experience: the first being that my iPhone DEFINITELY spies on me while I talk and not just when I am actively using my phone. I know this because the ads I now see while using my iPhone are all for medical scrubs and nursing shoes! Apparently the iPhone thinks I am a nurse or doctor and they are targeting ads for what I talk about. I will say the scrubs are super cute and they make skinny ones (Jaanuu is the brand) with lots of pockets.
The other interesting story: we were walking James and met a couple out walking here in Denver. Somehow the discussion of going to Mexico for dental work came up. The man mentioned he also gets his prescriptions there because he needs an expensive organ transplant medication. I said, “Are you on Mycophenolate?” and he was surprised and said, “How do you know that?” and I said “Our dog is on it!” We talked about how much cheaper prescription medications are outside of the US. I’ve never bought prescriptions from Mexico but I have bought some in Europe and they are easily 1/10 of the price for the exact same thing AND they are over the counter.