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Immunotherapy $$
Cooper2019
10 Posts
Is immunotherapy cost covered by OHIP in Ontario?
8 Replies
Cynthia Mac
3194 Posts
I think the short answer to your question, Cooper2019‍ , is “it depends.”

My only experience with immunotherapy was when my Dad’s lung cancer metastasized to his liver. His oncologist put in a request for him to participate in a clinical study with Merck, the makers of Keytruda.

I’ve heard of other patients having really expensive medications for their cancer treatments, but I don’t know what those meds were.

Are you able to reach out to an oncologist to see what might be available? Another resource would be to check with a pharmacist.

And, who is that cute little fur baby in your avatar!
Cooper2019
10 Posts
Cynthia Mac‍ I do have an appointment with my oncologist on February 23. I have also heard of big $$ for the therapy. I will do my research and ask my GP as well. Thanks for the lead on pharmacist. I do not take advantage of their knowledge and experience enough.
The fur baby is my three year old Coton de Tulear named
JD Cooper. The 2019 in my user name is the year of my bladder cancer diagnosis.
Your next question may be ‘what does JD stand for?’ The initials are for James Dean. His mom’s name is Audrey Hepburn. My dad was known by his initials, so that warms my heart.
ges54
11 Posts
My understanding is that anything that is oral is not covered. If it is an IV or injection done in the hospital it is.
Cooper2019

I'm so glad you posted.

Your Oncologist who is prescribing the treatment would definitely know best. I was thinking our Cancer Information Helpline may also be a good resources to share information and help you prepare for the conversation with your Oncologist. You can reach them at 1-888-939-3333.

Also I thought you might find this video about Immunotherapy interesting:
Cooper2019
10 Posts
Thx Lacey. It was the oncologist who mentioned it as ‘down the road possibility’. I listened to the video and the simple message is helpful.
Cooper2019
10 Posts
Cynthia Mac‍ and Lacey_Moderator‍, Results on left breast and chest came back clear. So no current actions based on first post op catscan. Very pleased and feel fortunate. Not on any medication. The ileal conduit and stoma from bladder removal are working fine. No issues.
Next catscan is April 9 at PMH and results April 16. Fingers crossed that goes well too.
I appreciate your input on immunotherapy. The oncologist said, had we gone in that direction, “it depends”. Cynthia Mac‍ where did you get your medical license!
Cynthia Mac
3194 Posts
Gulp! I’m in NO position to claim a medical license! I’m glad that “it depends” is a vague enough term to keep me from getting into any trouble, Cooper2019‍ !
Celticlady
8 Posts
I just wanted to say if you've been prescribed Lapelga there is something called the Answers Program (https://odano.ca/download/answers-patient-program-grastofil-and-lapelga/) which helps people who do & don't have insurance covrage. They were able to get me approved for Lapelga, but they also said that they would have helped me even if I didn't have private insurance. This program is a part of the website: Oncology Drug Access Navigators of Ontario (ODANO) (https://odano.ca/) which has advice on various help you might be qualified for in Ontario.
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