My husband, Ray Welch, has been battling a rare cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, for 5.5 years. He has gone through surgeries, chemo, and radiation; however, through all of this, his cancer has continued to grow and spread. In August my husband had one of his tumors profiled and we were overjoyed to find out that there is a drug out there that is an exact match to inhibit the growth of the mutation that is causing his cancer to grow. The excitement was short lived when we were told by CVS Caremark, his prescription coverage provider, that an unqualified individual within their company felt the drug was "not medically necessary". Through all three rounds of appeals, they never had an oncologist talk to his doctors. The medication costs $4,000 per month for half strength. We decided to raise funds and we started him on the medication. After two months of being on only 1/2 strength of this medication, Votrient, we got scan results advising that all of his tumors significantly shrunk! The only side effect is that his hair is turning white. How they can say this is not medically necessary, I don't know. We have contacted GSK, the manufacturer, three times asking for help, we have tried many foundations for assistance, and tried contacting our state government but no one seems to be able to help us! Most places claim it is due to it being considered "off label use". Unfortunately we have also been turned away for assistance because we both work full time and have insurance. Please, I beg you to please sign this and share with as many people as you know!! I cannot imagine the thought of him not being able to have a drug that is saving his life and FDA approved for another cancer, but simply unaffordable! We pay for insurance every month for this exact reason and then it fails us when we need it most... THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!!!
LATEST UPDATE : As of 3/31/2014 CVS Caremark has AGAIN denied coverage!!!! I certainly do not understand how this is possible now that he has had two scans while on this medication which have both proven that this medication is shrinking his tumors and saving his life. This is just cruel torture at this point. Thank you so much for your continued support!!
P.s. Based on a recent comment I just want to stress that our petition is not set out to have any political involvement. I am solely setting out to obtain coverage of a medication that is desperately needed to allow my husband to live a full life and to watch his children grow up. You can friend me on Facebook or check out our fundraiser (gofundme.com/rays-cancer-battle) that has been up for over 5 months which provides detailed updates as to his progress. We are real people and just felt we had no where else to turn. Our entire story would have been far too much to post here, but be assured, I have tried many other ways to fight for this before I begged for your help. If you would like more details feel free to contact me.
Thank you again!!!! We truly appreciate it more than you will ever know!
- CVS Pharmacy
- CVS Caremark
My name is Jen Welch and we are contacting you on behalf of my husband, Raymond Welch. Back in August we began the greuling process of getting a medication approved to treat his cancer. Ray had tumor profiling done through FoundationOne. This showed that there was a drug that is a direct genetic match to what is fueling the growth of his tumors, yet even with this medical proof, he was denied coverage of the medication. I would urge you to review his file with your company to see how our case was very much handled improperly! We took measures into our own hands and have been paying out of pocket for the medication. Ray had scans and within 2 months of being on 1/2 strength of the medication he had a significant reduction in his tumors. I believe that in itself should be enough to deem this drug as medically necessary for him! I am urging you along with the support of many others to approve the request for prescription coverage of Votrient for Raymond Welch. His life depends on it and his children need their father!!
Jennifer Welch started this petition with a single signature, and now has 130,740 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.