People with private health insurance using Serostim (recombinant human growth hormone) can now save up to $200 per month on their monthly co-payments, according to information released by the drug’s maker, EMD Serono. The co-payment card, available through health care providers prescribing Serostim, can be used up to six times during a one-year period.

EMD Serono says most people with private health insurance plans that cover Serostim for HIV-related wasting syndrome will be eligible for the co-payment assistance program. About 65 percent of people living with HIV who were prescribed Serostim in 2008 were covered by private health insurance. Of these, 94 percent had monthly co-payments under $200, meaning that most privately insured individuals using the drug will have their entire Serostim co-payments covered.

To qualify, patients must have a prescription drug benefit that covers Serostim and a valid Serostim prescription. The card expires 12 months after its first use, which must occur before December 31, 2010. The card can be used up to six times in a 12-month period, no more than once every 21 days.

As with similar programs from other companies, people on Medicaid, Medicare or ADAP are not eligible for EMD Serono’s co-payment savings, nor are residents of Massachusetts. In addition, the co-payment assistance card can only be used through EMD Serono’s network of secured distribution pharmacies (click here to find a pharmacy near you).

People with HIV-related wasting who are having difficulty securing access to Serostim can contact EMD Serono’s SeroCare program for assistance.