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How Keytruda Copay Assistance Works
1 – Check Your Coverage/Benefits Verification
Our team of expert billers finds the best avenues of coverage that minimize out-of-pocket costs.
2 – Transfer Prescription to AmeriPharma
We process your prescription by working with your previous pharmacy or prescriber, making the transition quick and easy.
3 – Prior Authorization
Our team of specialists obtains approval from your insurance companies within 24 to 72 hours.
4 – Copay Assistance & Financial Aid
We secure financial aid and decrease copays, out-of-pocket expenses, and high deductibles. To date, AmeriPharma Specialty Care has secured $55 million in financial assistance for our patients.
5 – Nursing Care Coordination
AmeriPharma puts your schedule and home environment first when scheduling and coordinating one of our specialized nurses for your in-home infusions.
6 – Delivery Coordination
Medications are always delivered in strict compliance with the specific requirements for immune globulin shipping. Next-day and overnight cold-chain deliveries are coordinated around your schedule.
What Is Keytruda?
Keytruda is the trade name for pembrolizumab, an intravenous medication for treating several cancers among adults and children. Keytruda belongs to a family of immunotherapies called monoclonal antibodies. Physicians prescribe this medication in three ways:
- Monotherapy: As a standalone treatment
- Combination Therapy: As simultaneous treatment with other cancer medications
- Adjuvant Therapy: As a follow-on treatment to kill surviving cancer cells after a successful course with another medication
How Does Keytruda Work?
The human immune system has evolved to detect, kill and remove many types of cancer cells. However, some cancers can alter their chemical signatures, evade detection, and grow unmolested. Keytruda acts by blocking the pathway cancer cells use to remain undetected. Since the malignant cells are now exposed, the immune system is better able to target, destroy and remove them.
What Conditions Does Keytruda Treat?
Keytruda has earned Food and Drug Administration approval for 19 types of cancer.
With inoperable breast cancers, physicians use Keytruda as a component in combination therapies. Where surgery is possible, doctors use this medication as a postoperative adjuvant treatment.
For the most serious type of skin cancer known as melanoma, physicians prescribe Keytruda as either a monotherapy or adjuvant. With cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, doctors use Keytruda as a monotherapy.
With non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), doctors usually combine Keytruda with chemotherapy agents such as pemetrexed, carboplatin or paclitaxel. Keytruda may also be used as monotherapy in those patients who express a protein called PD-L1 on their cancer cells. It is also used as an adjuvant following resection of specific tumors.
With blood cancers such as classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma or primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, doctors use Keytruda as a monotherapy after other treatments have failed.
With cancers of the bladder, liver, colon, and rectum, physicians use Keytruda as a monotherapy. For stomach cancer, esophageal carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma, cervical cancer, and renal cell carcinoma, doctors use Keytruda as a monotherapy or in combination therapy, depending on individual patient circumstances.
Copay and Financial Assistance
AmeriPharma Specialty Care alleviates financial burdens for patients and their families
Advanced software locates funding sources to match you with top-dollar foundation programs
One of our copay assistance specialists will assist with the application process
Automatic updates will be sent to you and your physician on the status of the funding
Keytruda Side Effects
With some patients, Keytruda infusions may cause their immune systems to attack healthy tissue. These effects may be life-threatening and can happen anywhere in the body. Furthermore, these effects may occur even after a Keytruda treatment course concludes.
Keytruda’s most common side effects include:
- Skin rashes and itching
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle and joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Low thyroid levels
Children who take Keytruda have an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections, fever, vomiting, and headache. Pediatric patients may also experience lower red and white blood cell counts.
Patients should inform their physicians of any health changes once Keytruda treatments begin. Physicians may seek to mitigate some side effects with corticosteroids or hormone replacement treatments.
Patients receive Keytruda doses as intravenous infusions in clinical settings. Infusion sessions usually last about 30 minutes. For adults, the recommended dose is 200 mg every 3 weeks or 400 mg every 6 weeks.
With pediatric cancers, the recommended dose is 2 mg for each kg of patient bodyweight. 200 mg is the maximum pediatric dose and the infusion is given every 3 weeks.
When patients receive other chemotherapy agents at the same appointment, Keytruda infusions should come first.
For all cancer types, Keytruda should be discontinued if the disease progresses or if treatment becomes toxic to the patient. Your doctor will decide the length of the treatment course as it may vary depending on several patient-specific factors. The maximum duration of treatment is 24 months for all cancer types except melanoma. Patients who take Keytruda for melanoma may continue treatment indefinitely.