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PROCRIT HMO CUT BACK?
Nov 26, 2004

Hey Dr. Bob,

I'm new to this HMO bullshit. My doc wants to cut my Procrit from 3 times a week to just once a week. What's up with that? Is that safe or just another HMO cut back deal. This guy's supposed to be a good HIV specialist (even claims to know you!) but I'm not sure I should trust him yet. What do you think?

Also good luck with your upcoming AIDS benefit Concerted Effort (just read about it on your website). Wish I lived closer so I could attend. I will but a raffle ticket for that Las Vegas trip!!!! Zack

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Zack,

No Zack, I don't think this is a case of HMO cutbacks! In fact, your new doctor is probably doing you a favor by suggesting the more convenient new dosing schedule!

The three-times-weekly dosing schedule of Procrit was based on the convenience of administering the drug during scheduled hemodialysis visits in patients with chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis. This was the original indication for using the drug, i.e. treatment of anemia in patients with chronic renal failure. Alternative, more convenient dosing regimens have subsequently been investigated and found to be equally effective in anemia patients receiving chemotherapy and also in HIV-infected anemia patients. More specifically, these results demonstrated that once-weekly-Procrit dosing effectively increases hemoglobin levels and improves quality of life among anemic HIV-positive folks. The hemoglobin response and quality-of-life improvements seen with once-weekly dosing were found to be comparable to the effects with three-times-weekly dosing.

Thanks for your good-luck wishes for our annual AIDS fundraiser, Concerted Effort! Now, it's my turn to wish you luck for the grand raffle drawing a Las Vegas Five-Day Fantasy Getaway Package that includes two nights at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, two nights at the Venetian Resort and Casino, two tickets to Mamma Mia, two tickets to Blue Man Group and $1000 in CASH!

Stay well, Zack. Your new HIV specialist seems to be right on target with this Procrit dosing recommendation.

Dr. Bob


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