Scott... so are you talking about OTC  VSL#3  or the medical probiotic meaning it can only be obtained with a prescription and it only comes in Double Strength? 

I am referring to: VSL#3 DS and it only comes in powder form with a written prescription from my Gastroenterologist. 

Janie

Janie, my insurance company covers VSL #3 DS, but it has become hard to find. I believe that both the prescription and OTC strengths are affected by the Visbiome litigation. I’d like to persuade my insurance company to cover Visbiome, but it took me a year to get them to cover VSL, so I’m not optimistic.

This is interesting. I remember back in 2016ish when VSL#3 changed the formula to remove dairy they were touting that as a breakthrough so that people with daily issues (like me) could tolerate the new formula VS the old one that had dairy, see: https://www.vsl3pharma.com/con...-formula-dairy-free/

Now reading further it sounds like this was just a way to try to get around patents and such, and also the amount of dairy in the old formula (which is the Visbiome formula) is so minute that most people could probably tolerate it anyway. I have a mental block with it though, knowing that dairy is in there, it makes me think it is going to give me problems. I should try it again just to see how I do with it. 

 

Wow. So when is the class action lawsuit? I've spent thousands of dollars on VSL since 2016 thinking I was getting the original formula. Guess I'll be switching to Visbiome. Meanwhile I have fridge full of VSL packets from my last order before they shut the online store.

There probably won’t be a class action lawsuit. The damage from the knockoff formula doesn’t appear to be significant (if there’s any damage at all), and I think it might be pretty hard to pull together a sizable class. The company may not have much money left after the Visbiome verdict. Maybe CT Barrister could get the jury to gasp in horror, though. 

This is great to hear. My pharmacy has only a few VSL#3 DS left. So I had my GI doc call in Visbiome extra strength and pharmacy has it now. So I hope it works for me Vince I am on Cipro every other day for maintenance for chronic  Pouchitis 

Janie

A few days ago the court handed VSL another defeat, so significant that the VSL web site is currently down (I’m guessing to remove what the court deemed false advertising). Here is Visbiome’s updated statement: https://www.visbiome.com/blogs/visbiome-vs-vsl-3

I’m still using VSL #3 DS, and filled a prescription for it at Sam’s Club on Friday. I’m starting to think about ways to get my insurance company to revise their policy to include Visbiome, but that is likely to be a slow, failure-prone process.

It seems like VSL #3 is currently genuinely unavailable. Their web site says “Thank you for visiting www.vsl3.com. VSL#3® is currently unavailable while awaiting changes to the current product labeling. There are no safety issues and VSL#3® has not been recalled or discontinued. We apologize for this disruption and are working towards making a relabeled product widely available again as soon as possible. Please check www.vsl3.com for future updates on product availability.

So I guess they’ll repackage it to try to conform to the court ruling. It’s hard to tell how long it will be until the repackaged product can be purchased.

Scott... my Pharmacist knows the entire situation. Visbiome extra strength is the same as the Original VSL#3 DS. Visbiome was and is manufactured specifically for Ulcerative Colitis and Pouchitis. It still comes in packet form and needs to be refrigerated. I have it in my fridge now but haven’t used it yet because I want to finish up my VSL#3 DS. 

Glad I came across this thread. I'm currently in the same predicament of being out of VSL#3DS for months. I was just reading the Visbiome website today and will have my gastroenterologist try to submit a prescription. I had no trouble getting my insurance to cover VSL#3DS, is anyone else getting Visbiome covered?

It looks like the VSL #3 drought is coming to an end. Their web site now says:

Thank you for visiting www.vsl3.com. VSL#3® is now available for purchase from Alfasigma USA directly by clicking the "GET VSL#3®" button above or by going to https://shop.vsl3.com. If your local pharmacy is not currently stocking VSL#3® you can request that they order it from their wholesaler and keep it in stock for you. Please check back to this space for additional patient and HCP resources on VSL#3®.

The web site is still in a shambles - I expect that they have to run every word by their legal department to avoid another expensive lawsuit. The pharmacies are still having trouble ordering it, since the wholesalers don't seem to have woken up yet. But at least the product exists again.

For people who can't get any insurance coverage Visbiome may be a better bet. It's the exact formula originally tested in clinical trials. For people with very generous insurance that would cover either one, Visbiome is also probably a better choice. In my case the insurer (CareFirst Blue Cross) covers VSL #3 DS by name, and that took me a year to get the coverage policy created. Introducing a new product name to them that has no history in the medical literature would likely result in no coverage for anything. I'm glad the good-enough product called VSL #3 will be available again.

Scott, Thanks for the update. I'll try again but I think my pharmacy is tired of my asking. My Dr. recently sent them a prescription for Visbiome and at first they said they could get it and copay would be $40. Later they called and said they could not get it! Do you know if Dr. has to request a DS version as with VSL#3 DS? I think I will show the pharmacist the VSL website and try once again.

On an unrelated topic (on second thought maybe it is related), I just was approved for medical marijuana!

Richard

I quit taking VSL when it wan't available any more. My insurance (Kaiser) does not cover it and I just decided I was sick of paying for it, so quit. You would think with all the new research on the importance of bacteria to our health, they would cover it, but things change slowly. Maybe one day.

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