How Much Does Anti-venom Cost?
An anti-venom is a medicine that can counteract the effects of the venom released into your body when bit by something poisonous. Being stung or bitten by a deadly animal or insect is no joke. Aside from the fact that this poses a threat of dying within the day of being bitten, the treatment against venom is sometimes hard to find. In fact, not all hospitals in the country are even equipped with anti-venom for all venomous snakes, scorpions, spiders and other animals. Because each poisonous animal is different, their venom is different and take a different anti-venom to rid the body of the poison. Anti-venom is classified as monovalent or polyvalent and can be very expensive; vials of anti-venom come at different prices, depending on the animal bite or sting it fights against.
How much does it cost?
- Anti-venom is infamously expensive. However, the price of each will vary largely on its type and against what animal venom they are formulated to fight. A particular anti-venom used against bites from pit vipers can be bought for over a thousand dollars per vial. This fact is supported by FPnotebook.com. It is stated on this website that the cost of the anti-venom CroFab is over $1,000 per vial. Other snake anti-venom can be bought at different prices, others reaching as much $5,000.
- In an article of NYDailyNews.com about a woman who was stung by a scorpion, the site revealed that the price of the specific anti-venom administered to her (called Anascorp) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be sold at $3,780 per dose. However, not all hospitals will follow the suggested retail price. Most hospitals sell the said anti-venom at $7,900 to $12,467 per dose. Azcentral.com blatantly states on its site that Metro Phoenix hospitals (in Arizona) are billing as much as $12,467 per vial of this particular anti-venom.
- Snakebiteinitiative.org states on its site that the average cost of snake anti-venom is about US$160 per vial.
- As you can see, the cost of anti-venom will greatly vary. Depending on the rarity of the anti-venom, prices can range anywhere from $100 to as much as $13,000 or more per vial.
What is going to be included?
- Anti-venom can be purchased in most hospitals. It would almost be impossible for you to purchase one over the counter. In fact, only licensed veterinarians can purchase and dispense anti-venom. If you are bitten by a poisonous animal or insect, the hospital to which you are brought will likely administer the appropriate anti-venom. However, this is only possible if the hospital has the anti-venom you need. Unfortunately, not all hospitals are equipped with anti=venom.
- Although it is very rare to buy anti-venom online, you can still place an order through a reputable website that partners with international Red Cross. For instance, Asiansnakewine.com is one of the very few websites that sells anti-venom online.
What are the extra costs?
- Hospitalization. Regardless of the type of anti-venom administered to the patient, the patient will more than likely need to be hospitalized for a few days. According to fpnotebook.com the typical 12 vial course with hospital mark-up pricing is over $100,000. The price, however, depends largely on the type of anti-venom and the severity of damage it poses into the person.
- Dosage of the anti-venom. Each vial of anti-venom cost relatively higher than any other drugs. However, the costs are not only limited to a single vial. If a person has been bitten by something poisonous, one vial is usually not enough to rid the body of the toxins. According to Snakebiteinitiative.org, a patient may need 5-10 vials of anti-venom as an initial dose, depending on the species of snake that bit the patient. Therefore, if the anti-venom is $12,467 each, you may need to pay at least $62,335 for the anti-venom shots, excluding hospitalizations.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location. The prices of anti-venom will be drastically lower in other parts of the world outside the US. The Anascorp anti-venom, for example, is just $100 per vial at pharmacies or even less at government-funded clinics in Mexico but are sold over a thousand dollars in Arizona, USA.
- Type of anti-venom. Anti-venom used for venomous snakes that are common can be bought at most hospitals at a reasonable price. However, other anti-venom are almost impossible to find. In fact, some anti-venom are only found in other countries like Australia where the majority of deadly snakes originate.
Tips to know:
- It must always be brought in mind that the anti-venom must be administered to the patient as soon as possible after a bite. In the case of snake bites, the anti-venom should ideally be administered within four to five hours.
- You should only need to worry about the cost of anti-venom if you live in an area that has poisonous snakes or insects. Many states in the US do not have this problem.
- If you are traveling to a place where there are no hospitals close, it may be a good idea to buy some anti-venom from a hospital and take it with you on your travels. You can never be too careful with poisonous animals.
- For snakes and scorpions, the venom will be unique from one to another. Venom consists of combination of complex proteins, which act on the prey or bite victim in various ways. This is the reason that there is a need for specific anti-venom for a particular animal.
How can I save money?
- If you are bitten by a poisonous snake, spider, scorpion or other deadly animals, you can ask your health insurance to cover at least part of the costs for anti-venom and hospitalization. Most if not all of the times your health insurance will cover the procedure.
- Before you move to or visit a place that is home to poisonous animals, do your research on how to recognize each one. If you are educated in this area, you may be able to avoid being but in the first place.