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Discussion Starter #1
I keep seeing this medication referred to but do not have a clue what it is, ie steroid, NSAID etc.. Is it available in UK ot just other countries!

Can anyone enlighten me!

Lesley
 

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Hello Lesley :)

Cellcept is the trade name for mycophenolate mofetil often known as MMF especially in the UK. It's an immunosuppressant used in transplants to prevent rejection, like Imuran (azathioprine) and methotrexate.

It has been found to be very useful in treating lupus, first lupus nephritis and now more general use. It's an addition to the armoury of medicines, an alternative for when other medicines don't suit the patient and a very effective alternative to the 'big gun' Cytoxan ( cyclophosphamide) which has many severe side effects.

It is available in the UK and USA but I don't know about other countries.

http://lupus.webmd.com/news/20041018/organ-transplant-drug-controls-lupus-symptoms

Cheers
Clare
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the explanation!

Lesley
 

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It's available in Australia as well Clare :)

love
Lily
 

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Thanks Lily, that's useful to know I seem to remember that livvalivva in New Zealand wrote she hadn't been able to get approval for it.
I don't know if special approval has to be obtained in the UK, considering the cost of it. Approval of pricey drugs in socialised health care schemes is often dependent on other therapies having failed especially when its off label use. There can of course be difficulties anywhere with insurances refusing to pay for therapies even when they have been FDA approved for the purpose and aren't off label.
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Clare
 

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I'm having difficulty finding out a lot about it but have established that it is on the list of highly specialised drugs. Basically what this means is:

Who can be treated with an HSD?

To be eligible to receive treatment under the HSD Program, a patient must attend a participating hospital and be a day-admitted patient, a non-admitted patient or a patient on discharge. The patient must be under appropriate specialist medical care, meet the specific medical criteria and be an Australian resident in Australia (or other eligible person) as defined in section 3 of the Health Insurance Act 1973.
http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/provider/pubs/mediguide/section7/drug-program.shtml#prescribe

No idea on cost but I assume it's like many drugs prescribed by a specialist in a public or private hospital here. If needed and everything else has been tried then it would be available at the government subsidised rate, like all our other prescriptions. I imagine to meet the criteria you would have had to have tried everything else and failed to respond to it.

love
Lily
 

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I will add that in the USA many health insurance companies are now requiring that other treatments fail before they will approve cellcept. Part of the ease of getting it prescribed can depend on how your rheumatologist writes the appeal to get you approved.

Take care,
karen
 

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I'm one of the people on Cellcept and I know that we tried Plaquinel for over 6 months (no effect) and Imuran (I turned out to be allergic) before we turned to Cellcept.
 
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