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It is interesting how the process of going to a European country works. You petition for acceptance, and the treatment facility then invites you to attend, all very proper.

Receiving the Invitation

The invitation from Basel came via an email on February 25, 2009 from Brigit Avis, Assistant to Professor Dr. Jan Müller at the University of Basel Hospital. Christine, Anya or Brigit (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) will be the interface between you and Basel. The invitation spelled out the proposed dates, the general schedule of all treatments planned (mine included two Y90 treatments, roughly 10 weeks apart, and possibly one treatment using Lu177), and the costs of each treatment (including alternative forms of payment, i.e. credit card, cheque, cash, wire transfer). It included an attached information sheet on a few close by hotels and the University's hostel. On another attachment is an explanation of the disease and the PRRT treatment procedure. (When you get to Basel, there is a place to sign this information sheet indicating an understanding of what is to be done.) You are required to respond and confirm this invitation indicating your ability to meet the appointed dates and inclusive costs. If you are able to communicate via email, this is a very quick process once it gets moving.

Another .pdf file will then be sent to you asking for personal contact information, local doctors' names, and emergency contact. I printed this form, filled it out, and faxed it back to Brigit.

Treatment Costs

Note: A cost increase is effective January 1, 2013. See the note at the beginning of this article.

At the time of my treatments in May and July of 2009, the Y90 cost was 9,240 CHF. This breaks out to be

Hospitalization + routine scans cost: 1080 CHF for each of three days stay

PRRT injection cost: 6000 CHF (Y90 DOTATOC)

Total: 9240 CHF

(CHF – Canton Helvetica Franc -- is the notation for Swiss currency. Switzerland is not a European Union country. Therefore, they have their own currency. The exchange rate is about 95 U.S. cents to the Swiss Franc (in May of 2011).

Although as it turned out, I didn't get the Lu 177 treatment, it was quoted to me at 5200 CHF for the total cost.

This cost itemization may be helpful for filing insurance claims. There are many if's and buts, but even if your insurance company denies the drug, because they say it is investigational/experimental, they may approve the hospital room and scans for coverage (the non-experimental parts). Medicare will not pay for any treatment/procedure outside the U.S. There is a slightly better chance of coverage if your insurance is self-funded by your employer. Good luck.