Prescription Related Questions

Crestor vs. Lipitor: Which Type of Cholesterol Medication Is the Best Option?

Author , posted on May 5, 2022

Category: Prescription Related Questions

crestor vs lipitor

Approximately 94 million adults over the age of 20 in the United States suffer from high cholesterol. Past remedies for such a problem meant cutting out fat from one's diet and hoping that these numbers would go down. 

The advent of modern medicine has produced medical miracles in the form of medication. Medications like Crestor and Lipitor have proven to lower cholesterol numbers effectively and, in short, saved people's lives. 

But what's the difference between Crestor vs. Lipitor? If they can both lower cholesterol, then is there a difference? 

Keep reading to learn about these cholesterol medication types and how they differ. 

Crestor vs. Lipitor Similarities

Lipitor and Crestor qualify as statins, a class of medication approved in the late 1980s by FDA to treat high cholesterol. There are multiple statins on the market today, including Zocor, Lescol, Pravachol, and Livalo. 

Medications in the statin class limit a liver enzyme's ability to make cholesterol. As a result, the bloodstream has lower cholesterol when people take a statin. 

Lipitor and Crestor have the added effect of lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol, and raising HDL, the good cholesterol. They also raise triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are types of fat molecules found in the bloodstream. 

High cholesterol and triglycerides play a critical role in heart disease. Individuals with high cholesterol and elevated triglycerides are more likely to develop heart disease as the cholesterol and fats build up in their blood vessels. 

An excessive build-up of fat in the blood vessels will lead to chest pain, strokes, and heart attacks. 

Thus avoiding a heart attack can be as simple as ordering prescription medicine and taking your pills faithfully. 

Lipitor vs. Crestor Differences

If Crestor and Lipitor both belong to the statin family, what's the difference between the two cheap cholesterol medications? Which cholesterol medication is best between Lipitor vs. Crestor? 

Effectiveness and Dosage

Most pharmacists consider Crestor the strongest statin. It lowers total cholesterol as well as LDL and triglycerides. It also increases HDL. 

The biggest difference between Crestor and Lipitor lies in the dosage. Small doses of Crestor have proven to effectively reduce cholesterol. Doses range anywhere from 5mg up to 40mg. 

Lipitor, like Crestor, effectively reduces total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol as well as increases HDL. Patients take Lipitor in doses ranging from 10 mg to 80mg. 

Thus both Lipitor and Crestor do the job of reducing cholesterol. However, one must take a higher dosage of Lipitor to achieve the same effect as Crestor. 

Side Effects

All medications come with potential side effects. Crestor and Lipitor are no exception to this rule. 

Those who take Crestor may experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, and constipation. Some individuals report confusion as well as memory problems and elevated blood. 

In contrast to Crestor's side effects, Lipitor's side effects include diarrhea, common cold symptoms, and joint pain. A small number of people also experience muscle aches and pains. 

A small percentage of individuals who take Lipitor or Crestor have experienced abnormal liver enzyme levels. Individuals who plan on taking Lipitor or Crestor should have their doctor run blood tests to check liver enzyme levels first. 

A small number of people have also reported a hemorrhagic stroke or brain bleed. These individuals often are currently taking a blood thinner or have had a recent stroke. 

Side effects are rare, though. If they were common, the FDA would not have approved either medication. It's important to remember that the most common side effects are minor. Individuals who choose to take cholesterol meds learn to manage the side effects, knowing these pale in comparison to the long-term effects of high cholesterol. 


Crestor costs more than Lipitor on average, with a 30-day supply running around $243 for those who do not have insurance. The generic version of Crestor will cost around $51 a month. 

In contrast, Lipitor's 30-day supply typically costs around $207 without insurance. The generic version is approximately $17 to $19 a month. 


Read the fine print carefully on all medications you take. Lipitor comes with some cautions. 

Individuals taking Lipitor should avoid drinking grapefruit juice in great quantities. Studies have shown that grapefruit juice can increase the amount of statin in one's system.

Furthermore, both breastfeeding women and pregnant women should not take Lipitor or Crestor. 

Cholesterol Buster: Which is Better? 

In the end, you need to weigh your options carefully. Both medications reduce cholesterol levels effectively, according to studies. Lipitor will cost less, though you'll have to swallow a higher dosage for the same effect.

But both medications can effectively decrease the amount of buildup in blood vessels. And individuals seem to tolerate the minor side effects to gain the major effect of a better functioning heart. Your healthcare provider will give you the best advice on which medication works best for you as they can take your previous condition and health history in mind. 

Thus the debate ends in your medical clinic exam room. They can best recommend which cholesterol medicine works for you. 

Medicate With Confidence

Once you've determined which is better between Crestor vs. Lipitor, seek your refill prescription with an affordable online pharmacy. 

Our pharmacy has one goal: to provide you with the least expensive prescription medication on the market today. We proudly serve thousands of Americans, helping them find affordable medication solutions. 

We are a genuine, accredited, online pharmacy that thrives on good customer service. 

We dispense prescription medications from a licensed pharmacy. We also take care to keep your financial information secure. Check out our services today, and let us help you save money while keeping you healthy. 

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How to Afford Prescriptions Without Insurance

Author , posted on February 25, 2022

Category: Prescription Related Questions

prescriptions without insurance

Are you trying to find a way to pay for prescriptions without insurance?

Are you frustrated with the high prices of medications, and looking for a better alternative?

Unfortunately, affording medication in today's complex healthcare world is not as easy as it should be. Simply put, drug prices are at sky-high levels, and oftentimes patients have to pay the price.

Fortunately, there are some excellent ways for individual patients to be able to afford their medications on their own without insurance.

In this article, we will walk through the best methods for obtaining prescriptions without insurance. Read on and you'll learn how to pay for prescriptions at the lowest possible prices so that you can keep your hard-earned money and use it elsewhere.

Do You Need to Have Insurance to Get a Prescription?

You do not need to have any insurance to receive or fill a prescription for medication. Once you have the prescription from your doctor, you can take it to a pharmacy and tell them that you want to pay out of pocket.

This may increase your costs compared to certain healthcare plans. But there are ways to mitigate the high prices that come with paying for your medications yourself.

Most health insurance plans are designed to help offset the cost of prescription medications. You may still have a co-pay that you will need to fork over at the pharmacist's register, but in many cases, it will be drastically reduced.

However, there are certain cases in which you can use a drug coupon to pay for medications at a price lower than what you would have paid with insurance.

There are certain drug coupon companies that help you save on common generic medications. They can help you look for manufacturer coupons, or sign up for savings programs.

What Price Will I Pay For My Drugs Without Insurance?

Every year, prescription drug prices continue to rise. In the past year, for example, the retail price for common medications has increased by several percentage points. Some estimates say that the average American spends over $1000 per year on their pharmaceutical medications.

The increase in pharmaceutical costs can take its toll. Some patients are deciding between paying for a prescription refill or paying for food or rent.

Unfortunately, increasing drug prices are placing a heavy burden on Americans and more than just their financials.

Typically, brand-name drugs that are still under patent will cost significantly more than generics. This is because the pharmaceutical that developed them maintains exclusive production and pricing.

However, many manufacturers of major drugs that have gone generic now provide a lower standard price for their branded medications. If a generic drug becomes available, these brand-name drugs now have competition.

They have reason to lower their price significantly for those without insurance.

Prescription Coupons

You can find many online prescription drug retailers that will provide drug coupons. These are special deals that have been negotiated with manufacturers directly.

Many times, the coupons allow for dramatic savings. There may be savings that lower the price of the drug below that of your co-pay on certain insurance plans.

There are individual drug coupons for thousands of prescriptions. It is possible for drug coupons to save you up to 80% of the retail price of the medication.

Often times on these websites, you can identify which pharmacy will have the lowest price. You can shop around to see where there are variations in the price and fill your prescription at the nearest one.

It is also important to note that prescription drug coupons typically work with pharmacy delivery and drive-through as well. All you need to do is call the pharmacist ahead of time to arrange for your reduced price. Once you have the coupon coded into your patient file, you won't need to reenter it when you refill your prescription at a later date.

Nonprofit Savings Programs

Depending on your location, you may be able to benefit from a medication assistance program in your region. Nonprofit organizations can help you to afford your prescriptions even if you don't have insurance.

Many of these organizations partner with drug companies. However, others partner with civic groups or organizations devoted to patient advocacy.

Typically these programs will also be able to provide you with helpful resources and tools to identify the most affordable prescriptions. These may include databases of specific drug company programs that are dedicated to helping you as a patient.

Direct From Manufacturer Coupons

For many common drugs, the pharmaceutical that develops them may offer a direct from manufacturer coupon. This is designed specifically to help you as a patient. If you don't have health insurance, this can be a life-saving option.

Unfortunately, there are often exceptions and restrictions to these coupons. For example, you may not be able to use the manufacturer coupon if you are enrolled in Medicare. If you receive aid in the form of state or federal health insurance, you may also be exempted.

So manufacturers may also require you to divulge personal medical information in exchange for the coupon. It is also possible that the pharmaceutical may place a limit on the number of times the coupon can be used.

Retailer Prescription Savings Programs

Certain major retailers in the United States have negotiated for low-cost generic medications to be provided to their customers. For example, certain commercial retailers allow customers to buy essential medications in the range of $4 to $38. This is extremely helpful if you do not have insurance.

Other savings programs exist. For example, CVS pharmacy offers an extra care program that provides cashback and discounts. You may also get prescription savings from Kroger, Costco, or other membership clubs.

The Bottom Line: Prescriptions Without Insurance

At the end of the day, it is very possible to obtain your prescriptions without insurance without breaking the bank. Depending on the medications you take, manufacturers, local organizations, and retailers have all teamed up to help to reduce the burden placed on patients by our healthcare system.

At Price Pro Pharmacy, we want to help you find the best prices for your medications. We offer coupons, refill programs, and more all designed to get you the medications you need at the best available price. Check out our medications page to see how we can help you lower the price you are paying for your drugs.


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Why Is Latuda So Expensive?

Author , posted on February 11, 2022

Category: Prescription Related Questions


Did you know that almost 25 million people in the world have schizophrenia? While it isn't as common as other mental health illnesses, it can be severely debilitating. Schizophrenia often results in decreased quality of life and an increased likelihood of chronic diseases. 

How do you manage schizophrenic symptoms? For most patients, antipsychotic medications can help lower symptoms and assist people in leading normal, healthy lives. However, the price tags on these medications are deceiving. 

The high costs of mental health drugs in the United States have made it unaffordable for many people, especially those without quality insurance. Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on what Latuda is, what it treats, and how you can save money in 2022.

Keep reading for more information!

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental health illness that is chronic and extremely disabling. It is characterized by psychosis, where a person loses sight of reality. Unfortunately, there is no cure for schizophrenia, and many are left to manage the symptoms with psychotherapy and medication. 

This mental illness can limit a person's ability to work, have healthy relationships, and overall quality of life. What are some of the common symptoms of schizophrenia?

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Confused speech
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased motivation
  • Catatonia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of emotional response
  • Poor hygiene
  • Withdrawn nature

Schizophrenia symptoms are broken into three categories: positive, negative, and disorganized. With positive symptoms (e.g., hallucinations and delusions), a person loses sense of reality. The severity and duration of psychotic episodes can vary with patients. 

In some instances, a patient may experience one psychotic episode. In more debilitating cases, patients experience multiple bouts of psychosis that can last for days or weeks. 

What Causes Schizophrenia?

There is no definitive cause of schizophrenia, which is one reason that makes it difficult to treat at times. Four umbrella terms play a role in the development of schizophrenia:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Abnormal brain structures
  • Environment

Children with a parent with schizophrenia are more likely to develop this mental illness. Changes in brain chemistry and structures can also predispose someone with a higher likelihood. Keep in mind - nothing will definitively dictate whether a person develops schizophrenia or not. 

However, schizophrenic symptoms usually start in the late teens or early adulthood. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are no blood tests or imaging that can diagnose schizophrenia. Typically, a psychiatrist or other mental health specialist can diagnose schizophrenia based on specific behaviors and symptoms. 

A person must have two or more symptoms over six months. Active symptoms must be present for at least one month. Treatments may include:

  • Medication
  • Psychosocial therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Medication management is the gold-standard treatment for schizophrenia at this time, although other interventions could be used together. There are two main categories of medication: first-generation and atypical or second-generation.

Atypical Antipsychotic Medications

Atypical antipsychotics started in the 1990s and have fewer side effects than typical antipsychotic medication. They have similar effectiveness, but many patients find them more tolerable. Examples of atypical antipsychotics are:

  • Invega
  • Abilify
  • Risperdal
  • Seroquel
  • Clozaril
  • Latuda

Latuda, also known as lurasidone, is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression. It can be used for patients 13 years and older and can range from 40 mg to 160 mg dosages.

What Is Latuda?

Latuda is a common atypical medication that many patients who suffer from bipolar depression and schizophrenia use. Primarily, it works by balancing serotonin and dopamine hormonal levels in your brain. Latuda tablets are taken once a day with food and are only offered as a brand-name drug in the United States at this time.

In many studies, Latuda was effective at reducing schizophrenic symptoms and depressive symptoms in children and adults with bipolar disorder. Like other medications, Latuda has the potential for side effects, such as:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Restless
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea

Typically, these mild side effects start disappearing within a few weeks but contact your doctor if you start noticing worsening symptoms. So, how does Latuda compare to other similar medications?

Research shows that Latuda was more effective than Abilify and Geodon and had fewer side effects than Seroquel and Zyprexa. 

Latuda Cost

Latuda prices are higher than other medications since it is only offered under a brand name. While different generic versions are available, they won't be sold in the United States until 2023. 

Currently, a 30-day supply costs over $1,600. Can you afford Latuda? Many people can't keep up with the high costs of many pharmaceutical drugs and resort to coupons, rebates, insurance, or stop taking the medication entirely. 

For patients without insurance, paying out-of-pocket for this medication and other treatments can quickly make treatments for schizophrenia unaffordable.

Why is Latuda so expensive in the United States? Long patents, lack of government regulation, and Big Pharma have created a triad of problems in the U.S. 

Without set prices, pharmaceutical companies have no limitations on the prices they can set. For many, brand-name drugs are significantly more costly than generic versions. One way you can combat this problem is by switching to generic drug options or asking your physician for cheaper alternatives. 

Cheaper Latuda Drug Options

Latuda is an expensive pharmaceutical drug that can cost patients thousands of dollars each year. Unfortunately, it is an effective and much-needed medication for schizophrenia and bipolar depressed patients. 

If rebates and insurance aren't lowering your cost, look at switching to a Canadian pharmacy. With qualified pharmacists and medication, PricePro Pharmacy offers brand-name Latuda tablets at a fraction of the cost. 

Check out our Latuda drug prices today for low-cost options!

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How to Reduce the Cost of Medication

Author , posted on December 13, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

cost of medication

In the United States, the cost of medication accounts for 90% of spending by US residents. This expense is a reflection of what it costs to care for those suffering from chronic illness. Besides, the emergence of new technologies, medicine, and procedure results in the ever appreciating cost of medical care.

Despite the existence of healthcare insurance, healthcare remains to be expensive. In some cases, patients are expected to cover their medical expenses by paying out-of-pocket. For patients suffering from chronic illness, this can easily create a financial burden.

Prescription medicine is quite common among most people. On average, a significant group of people beyond 65 years take about six prescription drugs. This figure translates to the overall burden cost of healthcare.

With a bit of research, you can save a few dollars on your prescription medicine. This article provides an overview of the healthcare industry. It also provides a guide on how to reduce the cost of medication.

What Are Prescription Drugs?

Prescription drugs usually need a prescription or a doctor's note before it is given to a patient. These types of drugs are the opposite of over-the-counter medicines. Anyone can purchase over-the-counter medication without a prescription.

Examples of prescription drugs are Hydrocodone, Generic Norvasc, Azithromycin, and Amoxicillin.

Benefits of Prescription Medicine

Most patients on prescription medicine tend to suffer from long-term illnesses. Others happen to be seniors whose bodily functions are slowly degrading. Prescription medicine helps to restore health and aid the body in performing everyday functions.

Advances in medicine are gradually making it easier for patients to live longer and healthier lives. Yet, despite this progress, the cost of medication continues to be on an upward trajectory.

What Is the Cost of Prescription Medicine?

In the year 2016, an estimate of $450 Billion was spent on prescription medicine. This figure represents a 5.8% increase from 2015. The primary reason behind the rising cost of prescription medicine is the introduction of specialty drugs.

These drugs are used for the treatment of severe conditions.

In 2015, an estimate of 1 to 2% of people used specialty drugs. This figure accounted for 38% of total medication expenditure in that year. By 2020, the global spending on prescription drugs was estimated to hit an all-time high of $350 Billion.

Why Is Prescription Medicine Expensive?

As stated, innovation and specialty treatments lead to the growing costs of prescription medicine. But, other factors also contribute to the increase in expenses.


Monopoly refers to the exclusiveness in the supply of a specific commodity. The lack of competition within the medical industry chiefly contributes to the increase in medication costs.

For example, in the United States, three companies manufacture and control the insulin market. Without much competition, these companies are at the forefront of dictating the costs.

Most illnesses requiring prescription medicine tend to be incurable. Cancer patients, for example, rely on a sequence of prescription medicine to counter the cancerous cells.

Since cancer is terminal, there is little to no need for new drugs. The absence of alternatives creates a conducive environment for monopoly.

As a general rule of thumb, monopolies have an expiration date since the patents tend to expire. But, this is different for chronic illnesses such as cancer. As the drug's patent life is coming to an end, the drug is already considered obsolete.

For biological drugs, getting rid of the monopolies is rather challenging. This is a result of the approval, and the manufacturing process is cumbersome. These factors render it problematic for competitors to join the market.

For the sake of regulation of prescription medicine, it is essential to eradicate existing monopolies. Unregulated monopolies can make the cost of prescription medicine unaffordable.

Severity of Disease

Patients who suffer from complex and chronic diseases pay top dollar for prescription medicine. But, such patients are willing to meet the cost to prolong their lives. For instance, cancer patients end up paying more for prescription medicine. On the other hand, patients suffering from less severe illnesses such as common colds or flu can access affordable medication.

High Cost of Development

The development of a new drug costs approximately 3 billion dollars. This figure also takes into consideration the high rate of failure. In most cases, about 10 to 20% of newly developed drugs get to reach the market.

But, the development cost is justifiable since a trial drug requires a large sample for clinical trials before approval. More so, the research and trials for new medication make use of public funds. Thus, the public does have a right to push for fair pricing of medicine.

How Can You Reduce the Cost of Medication?

The existence of insurance covers has not necessarily reduced the cost of medication. The price is transferred to patients through deductible and higher co-pays. Individuals suffering from long-term illnesses have to choose between paying for basic needs or purchasing medication.

If you are suffering from multiple illnesses, you may end up paying thousands of dollars annually on prescription medicine. But, there are specific ways you can cut the cost of prescription medicine. Here is how:

Switch to Generic Brands

A popular misinformed notion around generic medicine is the quality. However, generic drugs tend to perform a similar function to brand-name drugs. Besides, generic brands are less expensive in comparison to brand names.

More often than not, people buy brand-name drugs, believing they are superior to generic brands. Thus, it is a legal rule for pharmacists to substitute brand-name drugs with generic ones. But, If your physician advises against generic brands, you should refrain from their use.  

Review Insurance Coverage

When applying for insurance cover, it is essential to consider the pricing plans. Pay close attention to the cost of deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance amounts.

Most prescription medications are covered under Medicare Advantage Plus plans. But, it is essential to compare Medicare plans to get affordable ones. For example, according to analysis, the ten most prescribed medications had prices 14 times higher under the Medicare Part D plan.

Reviewing different plans will significantly reduce the cost of prescription medication.

Talk to Your Pharmacist

In most cases, prescription medicine requires use over a long period. They essentially become a part of your daily life. Patients suffering from chronic illnesses, especially, have to use prescription medicine to improve their health conditions. This is always a lifetime commitment.

If you have multiple prescriptions, you can combine them and talk to your pharmacists. By sourcing all your prescription medication from one pharmacy, you can save on costs and reduce the chances of redundancy.

Some pharmacists offer a mail-delivery prescription service. Such services save patients the cost of having to visit the pharmacies. You can also request a 90-day supply of your prescription medicine. Your pharmacist can give you a discount on the price since you are buying in bulk.

Shop Around

Sticking to one pharmacy can be a boon or a bane. A boon, since you can get discounts on your prescription medication cost. A bane because you may end up paying higher prices for medication compared to other pharmacies.

By shopping around, you can compare prices from different pharmacies. You can find their contacts online and call to inquire about their fees to save you the trip.

Prescription Discount Cards

Prescription discount cards are free. They give patients access to discount rates on the purchase of prescription drugs. They are a significant way of cutting costs and saving money on prescriptions.

You can access such cards from online prescription discount sites such as GoodRx. You can also access them from retail stores or through a delivery service. The delivery option offers even higher discounts.

But, it is best to compare your insurance plans with the rates on the prescription discount cards. It is also worth noting that discount cards may limit you to benefits for your part D True Out of Pocket (TROOP).

Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs

Some pharmaceutical manufacturers offer affordable assistance programs—the program's center on the purchase of prescription drugs. 

For example, Humira, a popular rheumatoid arthritis drug, retails at approximately $7000 a month. But, you can access this drug at $5 or even free with a pharmaceutical help program.

To find out whether your prescription qualifies for an assistance program, you can search the database. From here, you can check on drug availability and where you can access savings on your prescription.

You can also find such programs in your state. Besides, you can inquire from our insurance agency for a list of state-sponsored assistance programs. State programs differ from manufacturing programs, where you may have to pay an enrollment fee. Also, the application is set to cover a specific period.

The benefit of a state health insurance program is that it provides counseling on available Medicare prescription coverage within your area.

Extra Help

Another way you can save on medication costs is through Extra Help. This program is sponsored by the federal government targeting Medicare beneficiaries unable to meet the cost of coinsurance, deductibles, co-pays, and premiums.

For you to be eligible, Social Security will undertake an assessment of your income, assets, source of wealth, or savings. You will be required to apply. If approved, the agency can reimburse you the cost of prescription medicine you purchase during the waiting period.

Charity Programs

It is possible to find a charity program to sponsor some of your medical costs. For example, common chronic illnesses such as cancer have charity support programs, which can help with your medication costs.

A quick search on the internet can reveal a variety of charity programs and the benefits they offer. You can use the National Council on Aging Tool to search for various programs based on your area.

Make Use of Sample Brand Names

The probability of medication working for you relies on chance. For this reason, it is cost-effective to use a sample brand name for the short term to assess its effectiveness. If the medication doesn't work for you, you can then switch to a different one.

Investing much in a brand drug can be costly. It would be best to accept the sample for trials. You don't want to buy a large number of prescription drugs and end up changing them mid-way.

Use Combination Drugs

Some diseases need a combination of two kinds of medicine for treatment. You can save this cost by purchasing one combined pill. But, diseases such as diabetes do need more than one medication.

It is essential to inquire from your doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of finding combined prescription drugs. This simple step can help you save on the cost of medication.

Cut Your Pills

Most drugs exist in two forms; higher and lower strengths. If the price of a higher strength drug is lower than a lower strength drug, you can purchase the higher strength drug then cut it into two. But, you should only be done under the advice of a medical doctor or a pharmacist.

For example, if a higher strength drug of 100mg goes for $2.50 and a lower strength drug of 50mg goes for $3.50, you can save on buying the high strength drug. Using a pill cutter, you can cut the drug into two, and you'll have two pills of 50mg each. This applies if your prescription medication is for 50mg.

More so, this will only work for tablets that can be cut into two. It may be challenging to apply for capsules.

Can Exercise Reduce the Cost of Medication

Yes, a lifestyle change can go a long way in reducing your medication costs. Most of the diseases that need prescription medicine can be controlled with a lifestyle change. For instance, people who have diabetes can embrace healthier diets and physical exercises. Besides, reducing unnecessary fat in the body goes a long way in reducing the cost of medication.

At PricePro pharmacy, we offer discounted rates on prescription drugs to American residents. Our benefits cover the most popular drugs. Visit our website to find out more about our products today to make a significant saving on your prescription medication.

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Complete Guide to Out-of-Pocket Costs on Prescriptions

Author , posted on November 29, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

out-of-pocket costs

If you're thinking about getting a health insurance plan, prescription coverage is something you should consider carefully. According to research, 66% of adults who use prescribed drugs say it constitutes a significant portion of their health expenditures.

The real challenge however, is the out-of-pocket costs on prescriptions associated with most plans. Which drugs do health insurance plans cover and leave out?

This article goes deeper into what out-of-pocket costs prescriptions are, drugs covered under the plans, and how to reduce prescription out-of-pocket costs.

What Is Out-of-Pocket Cost?

Out-of-pocket expense is a general term describing the costs individuals pay from their cash reserves to be reimbursed later. It applies to almost every industry, including real estate, formal employment, and even healthcare.

In healthcare, out-of-pocket costs refer to the amount you pay as coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles. A deductible is an annual amount set by the insurer to meet before your coverage kicks in.

All health insurance plans have prescription coverage, but different plans cover different drug prescriptions at other costs.

Types of Prescription Drug Coverage

Prescription drugs covered under a health insurance plan vary from state to state, since each state has a benchmark plan to guide all other methods. 

So, insurance firms categorize prescription drugs covered into higher and lower tiers. Medicines listed on the higher levels are expensive, and hence cost more from out-of-pocket, while those on the lower are less. They rank depending on:

  • Cost of the drug
  • Drug availability
  • Clinical effectiveness of the drug
  • How the drug compares to others used for similar treatment
  • Connection to standard care
  • Additional factors such as storage and delivery

Therefore, it is prudent to consider some of the criteria used in ranking the drugs before you decide on which way to go. This will help you avoid inconveniences along the way with your insurance.

Tier 1

Tier one drugs are the lowest among all because they have the lowest prices. Medicines in this category are generally generic, but work almost the same as those from named brands. So from Tier One drugs, you get the same treatment at a lower price.

Tier 2

Prescribed drugs in Tier Two are slightly better versions than those in Tier One. They constitute some brand-name medications and are the most recommended by insurers for their efficiency and price.

 Tier 3

These are exclusive brand-name medications that cost more than Tier 1 and Two combined, and are non-preferred by insurers. 

Besides, Tier 3 drugs usually require authorization, where your doctor writes to the insurer explaining the need for the medication before an insurance provider can finance the bill. Because of their quality, they demand higher co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses.

Tier 4

This category came into existence in 2009 to accommodate new pharmaceutical drugs in the market. Typically, medications in Tier 4 are newly approved and cost the most in insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, thus highly discouraged by most insurers.

These drugs treat rare conditions, and they require pre-authorization before the payer agrees. Typically, your doctor explains to the insurer why this drug is preferable to other cheaper options in the market.

However, most insurers don't cover the entire costs of treatment drugs in Tier four. Instead, they do cost-sharing where you pay a specific percentage, and they top up the rest.

For example, if a chemotherapy drug costs $1500 a month, you may pay $600 or more or less, while the insurer clears the balance, depending on the insurance policy.

Remember, not all insurance providers classify their drugs in tiers, and if they do, it may be different from others. Therefore, understand each health plan before subscribing to one.

Which Prescription Drugs Covered Under Health Plans?

It's impossible to find an insurance plan that covers all types of prescription drugs. So, always confirm if the medicines prescribed to you are listed on the formulary. This is a list of prescription drugs that the insurer agrees to cover during your time as a policyholder.

The formulary includes both generic and brand-name medications, organized according to the tier of drugs. Generally, a formulary comes with the plan, and you can find it on the company's website. It is sub-divided into three sections. 

The first row is the type of drugs covered by the plan written in italics for generic medicines, and capital letters for brand names. Next is the tire and pricing category, where drugs are priced according to their respective tiers.

Finally, the last section is reserved for special rules to follow for each drug. Here, you'll find details like if a drug requires prior authorization, the quantity to use, and each drug's limit.

There are two ways to identify specific drugs on the formulary. The first method involves searching by category where you can find a drug by its problem category. For example, under gastrointestinal agents, there's omeprazole medication for stomach problems. 

On the other hand, you can locate drugs by index. This involves going through the list of drugs in alphabetical order. But what if you can't find a specific cure listed in the formulary? 

Well, most insurers make sure that there's an alternative drug for every condition listed, but a drug may have no replacement in some cases.

If a drug isn't on the formulary list and there's no alternative, the only solution is to ask your doctor to request a formulary exception. This is a formal request written by your doctor to the insurer requesting unique insurance cover.

Even if an insurer approves a specific medication, they'll only cover a small portion of the asking price, while the rest is an out-of-pocket cost. Typically, the cost of drugs absent from the formulary is equivalent to those in Tier 4.

Out-of-Pocket Costs of Prescription Drugs

How much will your out-of-pocket health insurance costs for medication amount to? Well, if you have an insurance plan, it varies from one insurance firm to another due to the factors listed below:

Preferred Plan

Every health insurance plan has its way of determining how much to cost-share with its policyholders. But, when it involves prescription drugs costs, most typically use the drug tiers to set the amount they're willing to cover.

The higher the level, the more expensive your out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs, since insurers only cover part of the sum.

Furthermore, if your insurance plan has incentives, such as discounted rates for the first 90-days worth of supplies, it could reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Pharmacy of Choice

Where you buy prescribed drugs could determine the costs you incur as a result. For example, research shows pharmacies in the same city could have significant differences in drug prices.

While most pharmaceuticals set their costs based on business costs and profit margins, pharmacies within the plan's network have lower costs. This means you can trace specific pharmacies, as recommended by your insurer, to get discounted rates on medication.

Formulary List

Is your medication among the list of covered drugs? Typically, medications inside the formulary list include those accepted and protected by the insurer with more standardized prices than those outside the list.

Even though some insurance may make exceptions on a case-to-case basis as presented by the resident doctor, many don't cover drugs outside the formulary.

The type of Deductible

The plan you have will determine the type of deductible you get, and in turn, the out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance plans usually have either one of these three deductibles:

Before Deductible Cover

If your insurance plan covers your prescription costs before you meet the deductible, your expenses could be significantly lower. Here, an insurer can agree to cost-share through copayment or coinsurance, depending on the drugs you take.

For example, for a generic drug, your copayment cost may be 20%, while for a named brand, the fixed price is 40%. So it all depends on the drug and tier.

After Deductible Cover

If your insurance plan demands that you meet the deductible before prescription cover kicks in, it could increase your out-of-pocket expenses. According to research, the current family plan deductible is $8,439, a 5% increase from the previous year.

Insurance plans with a deductible could increase your out-of-pocket prescription for the duration before you meet the set deductible.

Special Deductible Cover

Some health insurance plans have special deductibles for certain prescribed drugs. This means that once you buy a prescribed drug to the deductible limit, the insurer will pay for part of the medication out-of-pocket expenses.

Since this is a special deductible, it remains separate from the overall deductible and has lower rates. Here, cost-sharing is usually done through copayment.

How to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Prescription Costs

If you already have insurance or are looking to get one, there are ways you can save up your expenses on prescription drugs such as out-of-pocket costs. These include:

Understand Plan Rules

Before you sign up for an insurance plan, know the type of cover you're getting into. Does it have a deductible or copayment kind of plan since it will determine your out-of-pocket cost? Lastly, determine if the plan classifies drugs according to tiers and the cost of medication in each category.

Assess Different Options

If you plan on taking a health insurance plan, explore your options, since different plans offer different prices for the same medication. Besides, numerous online tools help you compare plans covering your prescription within your area zip code.

Use the Medicare Program

This is one of the initiatives where Medicare covers part of your Medicare out-of-pocket costs. As a result, once you qualify for the program, you buy prescription drugs at a lower price than usual.

Check Formulary

Confirm that the plan has a formulary, and your prescription drugs are among those included in the list. This is because formulary drugs are covered, hence less costly, while those outside the list have generally higher out-of-pocket costs.

What if You Can't Afford Health Insurance on Prescription Costs?

Prescription drugs are becoming expensive by the day, and the annual cost spent on drugs could rise even higher. So how can you minimize prescription expenses with no insurance cover? Here are a couple of ideas:

Seek Less Expensive Alternatives

The fastest way to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of prescription drugs is to seek cheaper alternatives. While many people prefer named brand medication over generic, they work just as well, but at a reduced price.

Generic drugs are other versions of the original created after the patent of the named brand medication expires. So, when buying or refilling your prescription, ask the pharmacist whether there's a generic version of the drug to take.

Alternatively, you can opt for named brand medications that are slightly cheaper than their counterparts. These drugs are primarily listed among the Tier 2 medications.

Take Time Shopping Around

Different pharmacies charge different prices for a specific medication. So, a drug that costs $5 at a particular chemist in town could go for $40 with another pharmacist. So, ask for pharmacy prices, and take your time while comparing them all. 

There are different ways to shop without leaving the comfort of your home, such as:

Using a comparison site

Comparison sites give you access to local and significant pharmacies sites nearby, and allow you to compare various medications' prices. Some good examples of comparison sites are GoodRx and Rx Price Quotes sites.

Look for an Online Pharmacy

Online pharmacies are generally cheaper than physical ones, since they incur less overhead costs. This means you can find a variety of drugs, yours included, at a slightly lower price than your standard pay.

Just verify that the online pharmacy is a legit vendor selling standardized medicine by the FDA.

Other viable options to look at include:

  • Setting up a flexible spending account
  • Pay with cash, check, or credit
  • Use free coupons
  • Leverage cost-sharing programs

There are several options available for those who may not afford health insurance prescription costs. But, first, you have to know where to look.

Top Out-of-Pocket Costs

There you have it; the complete guide to out-of-pocket costs and prescriptions. If you're looking for an insurance plan, be mindful of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. And when hunting for lower prescription prices, check out different pharmacies around and online.

We have simplified our system to suit the needs f every customer. Visit our website today on how to order your prescription drugs.

Works Cited



Top 10 Most Expensive Popular Drugs in the US and How to Save

Author , posted on November 22, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

most expensive medications

Like everything else, drug prices go up every year. You expect that. But not the extreme price hikes of the past few years. 

New medications are offering breakthrough treatments but come with hefty price tags. Many have high copays, and insurance plans won't always cover them, especially for long-term use.

Insurance protects some people from some of these sky-high medication costs. But for many others, the prices of the most expensive medications in the US put these life-sustaining drugs out of reach.

Here are the ten most expensive popular drugs and strategies to make them more affordable.

10 Most Expensive Medications In Widespread Use

A study by GoodRx shows the top ten most expensive common medications come with steep prices. These brand name drugs are so expensive in the US, they can be cost-prohibitive — even for patients who have health insurance with prescription drug coverage. 

1. Humira (Adalimumab) $9,065.00/month

The FDA approved Humira for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis almost 20 years ago. Since then, the uses of this TNF-alpha blocker have grown. It's now used to treat arthritis (including rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis), plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.  

Since 2014, the drug maker, Illinois-based AbbVie, has raised the price 138% to more than $9,000 per month. If it's been around so long, why is Humira one of the most expensive medications in the US? It's a complex medication to manufacture, and there is no generic version. 

Humira is a biologic drug made from living organisms. Humira can't be synthetically manufactured. The technology and processes used to make Humira can't be easily replicated. As a result, the price of Humira will likely remain high for a long time.

2. Cosentyx (Secukinumab) $8,907.00/month

Another biologic, Cosentyx, is a human IgG1κ monoclonal antibody that binds to the protein interleukin-17A to reduce inflammation. It was the first IL17A inhibiting drug ever approved for patient use. Cosentyx is administered as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous). 

Swiss drugmaker Novartis received FDA approval for Cosentyx in 2015 as a treatment for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Since then, the FDA has approved its use for ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. 

No matter which condition you're treating, you can expect to pay around $8,900 for each month of treatment. And like other biologics, there's no generic version. 

3. Enbrel (Etanercept) $8,717.00/month

Enbrel, yet another biologic, treats autoimmune diseases like moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. It interferes with tumor necrosis factor, a soluble inflammatory cytokine, acting as a TNF inhibitor to reduce inflammation.

Since receiving FDA approval in 1998, Enbrel's uses have expanded to include treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children over two years old.

Unlike the other biologics on this list, the FDA approved a less expensive alternative to Enbrel called Erelzi (etanercept-szzs) in 2016. But continued patent litigation has kept it off the market in the US. 

So, for the time being, patients using Enbrel can expect to pay around $8,700 each month for this 23-year-old medication. 

4. Otezla (Apremilast) $6,193.00/month

Otezla has been around since 2014 as a long-term treatment for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It's also used to treat oral ulcers associated with Behçet's Disease. It's a phosphodiesterase inhibitor in the same family as those used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) and erectile dysfunction(ED). 

Otezla isn't a biologic, like many other psoriasis treatments, but it can be challenging to get. That's because it is a limited distribution drug that's only available at select specialty pharmacies.

Only about half of the Medicare plans cover it. Three generic versions received FDA approval in 2021, but it's uncertain if any will come to market anytime soon.

Buying it from an online Canadian pharmacy can significantly reduce the cost. At $31.44 per dose, buying Otezla through an online Canadian pharmacy brings the price down from more than $6,000 to less than $1,000 a month.

5. Dupixent (Dupilumab) $5,298.00/month

Dupixent is a monoclonal antibody used to treat allergic diseases like eczema (atopic dermatitis) and asthma in patients as young as six. It's also used for nasal polyps, which result in chronic sinusitis. It's another biologic (derived from living cells), making it difficult to create a generic alternative.

Like other biologics, Dupixent is an injection. It's also a specialty medication and may require prior authorization from your insurance company. It's also a limited distribution drug, so you must have it shipped from a specialty pharmacy. All of this adds to the cost.

At full retail, patients can expect to pay almost $5,300 each month for this long-term treatment. 

6. Biktarvy (Bictegravir, Emtricitabine & Tenofovir Alafenamide) $4,083.00/month

Gilead Sciences, Inc. in Australia manufactures Biktarvy. It received FDA approval for the treatment of HIV in adults in 2018. In October 2021, the FDA approved a lower-dose version for children weighing at least 14 kg (about 30 lbs).

Biktarvy is a fixed-dose combination antiretroviral medication for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Antiretroviral drugs stop the virus from replicating in the body, allowing the immune system to repair itself.

It combines three medications into a single daily dose. Each tablet contains 50 mg bictegravir, 200 mg emtricitabine, and 25 mg tenofovir alafenamide. 

Biktarvy can run more than $4,000 per month at a US pharmacy. You can purchase it for less than $1,500 per month through a Canadian online pharmacy. 

7. Genvoya (Tenofovir Alafenamide, Elvitegravir, Cobicistat, Emtricitabine) $4,061.00

Genvoya is another fixed-dose combination medication for treating HIV made by Australian drugmaker Gilead. It received FDA approval in 2015 for use in adults and children over 55 lbs.

This antiretroviral treatment combines four medications in one pill: 150 mg Tenofovir Alafenamide, 150mg Elvitegravir, 200mg Cobicistat, and 10mg Emtricitabine. 

At around $4,000 per month, this life-saving treatment can be out of reach for some HIV patients. Through a Canadian online pharmacy, Gennoya costs about $1,350 per month

8. Descovy (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir) $2,195.00

Descovy is another drug developed by Gilead Sciences to treat HIV. It's also prescribed for people who are HIV negative and have a sexual partner with HIV. Descovy lowers the risk of getting HIV through sex.

In 2020, a major health insurer in the US, United Healthcare, announced it would no longer cover the cost of Descovy for the prevention of HIV (pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP). The insurance company shifted patients to an older Gilead PrEP medication, Truvada—specifically the generic form. 

But Truvada and its generic equivalents can have more side effects than Descovy. That makes the more expensive PrEP the only option for some patients. Good thing it's available from Canadian online pharmacies for about half the price in the US. 

9. Tivicay (Dolutegravir) $2,150.00

Tivicay is an HIV integrase inhibitor, which blocks the virus from growing and infecting other cells. It's often used in combination with other HIV drugs like Truvada or Edurant (rilpivirine). 

ViiV Healthcare of the UK developed Tivicay. GSK, along with Pfizer, and Shionogi Limited, owns the global specialist HIV company. They received FDA approval to use Tivicay to treat HIV in adults in 2013 and for children with HIV in 2020.

Standard dose tablets (50 mg) for adults and children over 44 lbs (20 kg) can be pricy in the US, especially when you consider this medication requires use in combination with other drugs for full effectiveness. The same 30 pills that cost more than $2,000 in a US pharmacy can be had for around $850 from a Canadian online pharmacy.

10. Latuda (Lurasidone Hydrochloride) $1,604.00

Latuda, an antipsychotic, is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Unlike most of the other medications on the most expensive prescription drugs list, Latuda isn't all that new. It received FDA approval for treating schizophrenia in 2010 and for treating Bipolar 1 Disorder in 2013.

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., the US subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. of Japan, makes Latuda. A generic version of this highly effective medication won't be available until 2023.

Ordering Latuda through a Canadian online pharmacy can save you nearly 90% of the cost of buying it in the US. 

How to Save on Prescription Medication

No one wants to overpay for their medications. Whether you use one of the most expensive medications listed above or just need to lower your medication costs, these strategies can save you money.  

Choose Generic Over Brand Name Drugs

When you're trying to determine how to save on prescription medications, the first thing to look for is a generic alternative. Generic drugs are available for many of the most common medications. 

Generic versions aim to mimic the brand name drug in dose and effect. They must have the same active ingredients, strength, dosing routine, purity, and quality as the brand name version.

The FDA must still approve all generics before they go to market. But generic meds don't go through the same amount of research and development the brand name version did, so they're usually less expensive — sometimes hundreds of dollars less. 

Consider a common medication like Harvoni (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir). This Hepatitis-C treatment is available as a brand name drug and a generic. 

An eight-week course of Harvoni can cost $65,000 or more, depending on where you buy it. In comparison, generic Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir can be 85-90% less, less than $8,000 for eight weeks. That's a considerable saving.

Apply for Assistance From Drug Makers

Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer drug discount programs for uninsured and underinsured patients. These programs help lower or eliminate your copay, making some of the most expensive medications available to patients who need them.

The discount programs have some limitations. First, you must meet specific financial criteria to qualify. Some require you to have private insurance with prescription drug coverage. Others only apply to people who don't have prescription drug coverage.

You can save thousands of dollars in medication costs if you qualify and for as long as the drug maker maintains the program. These programs aren't required. So, the pharmaceutical company can end them at their discretion.

Switch Your Prescription Plan

Not everyone has the option to change their insurance or prescription plan. This is especially true with employer-sponsored insurance. Some people who purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace ( can base their annual plan selection on the best coverage for their prescriptions.

The same is true for those on Medicare. Many recipients can choose from several prescription drug plans using Medicare Part D or an HMO plan. Like insurance, you can only change your plan during the annual sign-up period.

Buy From Online Canadian Pharmacies

People pay less in Canada for medications than in the US. There are a lot of factors behind the difference. Government price regulation plays a major role. The Canadian government sets limits on drug prices and the rate of price increases.

The US government doesn't. As a result, prices in the US can rise quickly, even on generic drugs. Several pharmaceutical companies acquired the production rights to older, inexpensive medications and promptly raised the prices by as much as 5,000%.

A good example, and perhaps the case study for this practice, can be seen with Daraprim. It's an anti-parasitic medication used to treat toxoplasmosis. It can also prevent malaria and other infections.

Turing Pharmaceuticals (Martin Shkreli) obtained the rights for this life-saving medication in 2016 and promptly raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill for US customers only. In Canada, Daraprim costs just over a dollar per pill. Why pay $750 when you can pay $1.00? 

Online pharmacies in Canada can offer these lower drug prices to their customers, no matter where they are. Why spend more?

Stop Spending Too Much for Your Meds

The newest drugs on the market are also some of the most expensive medications available. But they can also offer more effective treatment and fewer side effects than older drugs. 

Where you buy your medications can make a huge difference in how much you pay for them. An online Canadian pharmacy like PricePro Pharmacy can fill your prescriptions more affordably than US pharmacies.

Check your prices get started saving money today! Simply give us your prescription, place your order, and receive your medication in the mail. It's that easy.

Work Cited























Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs: 13 Things You Should Know

Author , posted on November 1, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

generic vs brand name drugs

Did you just bring your prescription refill home only to find it looks different? Don't fret because it's probably a generic version of your medication.

Knowing the differences between generic vs. brand name drugs is useful for patients and providers alike. While they're both useful, you may find one works better for you.

Read on to learn more.

1. Which Comes First

One of the biggest differences between generic vs brand name drugs is which hits the market first. The brand name version will always be available before a generic version.

Brand name manufacturers have to spend time and money on research and development of the drug. Then, they have to go through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process.

Finally, the brand name will be available to treat the conditions that the FDA approves it to treat. After the drug hits the market, doctors and patients will slowly switch over to it to test it out.

Having that time to test the one drug means you can figure out if it's the right medication for you. And you won't have to worry about experimenting with different generic versions.

2. Brands Get Patent Protection

After a drug manufacturer files for FDA approval, the drug will receive a patent for the next 20 years. That gives the company plenty of time to sell the drug and make back the money it spent on research and development.

While other manufacturers may be able to develop generic versions, they can't release those drugs until the patent expires. At that point, the generic drugs will have to go through the same approval process with the FDA.

The companies making generic drugs have to prove that the drug works the same way as the brand name version. Otherwise, the drug won't be able to hit the market.

Once the 20-year patent expires, one generic could become available. However, if multiple companies develop a generic, there could be a ton of options.

3. Generics Aren't Always Available

Because of the patent period, not all brand name drugs have a generic equivalent. If a brand drug just hit the market, it will be the only option for a while.

However, generics aren't always going to hit the market as soon as a patent expires. The brand name manufacturer may do whatever it can to keep the FDA from approving generic drugs.

That way, the brand can keep charging a massive amount for the medication. But since they won't allow a generic drug to receive FDA approval, patients have no choice but to pay those high rates.

This tactic is especially common with specialty drugs, though any manufacturer could attempt something similar. It's unfortunate for patients, so you may need to switch to a different medication because of the cost.

While uncommon, there may be drugs that other companies don't want to sell. If other manufacturers don't develop generics, you may not get to take it.

4. Generics Have to Be Similar

When comparing generic vs. brand name drugs, you may notice a few differences. However, the drugs have to work the same way when you take them.

Generic drugs must be the same as the brand name regarding:

  • Strength
  • Route of administration
  • Purity
  • Quality
  • Dose
  • Active ingredients

Generic medications have to have the same benefits and effects on patients as the brand name. If the quality of a generic drug is lower than that of its brand name equivalent, you shouldn't take it.

The same is true if the active ingredient is slightly different. Active ingredients are the most important part of medication, so any difference in that can have massive consequences for anyone taking the medicine.

Before you take a generic drug, you should look to make sure the active ingredient is the same as for the brand. That way, you can feel safe taking the medication despite its differences.

5. They Have Different Inactive Ingredients

One of the differences you'll find between brand name and generic drugs is the inactive ingredients. These make up the medication, but they aren't the ingredient that treats or relieves symptoms.

The active ingredient needs to be the same, but things like dyes can differ between manufacturers. Because of this, the generic medication may taste slightly different.

However, these differences have to exist so that the generic drug doesn't violate the brand name's trademark. Even after the patent expires, the brand still maintains a trademark for the formulation of the drug.

In a lot of cases, the inactive ingredients don't matter, so you can take any version of the medicine. But there are some cases where the ingredients can make one version better than another.

6. The Appearance Can Differ

Along with the variety of ingredients, you will find that generic drugs look different from the brand name. Factors that differ include the shape and the color.

If the medicine has numbers imprinted on it, those can also differ between generic and brand name drugs. Like with the formulation, the appearance has to be unique to keep from violating the brand name's trademark.

Some generic drugs may appear similar to the brand name. Maybe the color is slightly lighter or darker, or perhaps the shape is a bit rounder on one version of the medicine.

As long as the generic drug has the same active ingredient and is the same dosage, it can look very different. It's up to the manufacturer to design the medication to meet standards without impeding on the brand name.

7. Generic Drugs Are More Affordable

If you've ever compared generic vs. brand name drugs, you've probably learned that generic drugs are more affordable. They have to compete with the existing brand name drug as well as other generics to sell the medicine and make money.

Taking generic medicine can be an excellent way for patients to save money on healthcare costs. You can shop around for a pharmacy that uses the cheapest generic drug available.

Of course, this isn't always an option, such as if you're taking a new brand name drug. But if you need to take a medicine that has been on the market for decades, generic is the way to go.

In most cases, it will be perfectly okay for you to take the medicine. And you won't have to pay as much for the drug each time you refill it.

8. Generic Drugs Are Safe

Even though they cost less, generic drugs have to go through the same approval process and brand name medications. That means the generic version will almost always be as safe as the brand.

You can get the generic medicine from your local pharmacy, or you can shop around at safe pharmacies online. Then, you'll have more choices regarding how you get the drugs you need.

If you want to be extra safe, you could wait for a generic to be on the market for a few years. At that point, your doctor may have access to studies and results from patients taking the generic version.

You'll be able to decide if you want to switch to the generic drug. However, if you don't want to wait, you should be able to switch early on and still have good results.

9. There Are Generics and Authorized Generics

When looking at types of generic drugs, you should consider authorized generics. An authorized generic drug refers to a medication that the original manufacturer created to sell along with the brand name.

That gives manufacturers a way to make money from the second version of the same drug. The brand name version may still cost more, and the company can make some sales from it.

However, the company will be able to make more sales by offering a generic for a lower cost. That way, they don't have to worry as much about the competition for generic drugs.

Like any other generic version, they can't look identical to the brand name. So you may not even know if you're taking an authorized generic drug or a regular generic.

10. Some Insurance Plans Require You Get Generic Drugs

When comparing health insurance plans, consider if the plans require you to take generic medicines. Some insurers won't pay for the brand name, so you either can't take it, or you have to pay more for it.

You might find that the copay for a brand name is significantly higher. If that's the case, you may want to stick with a generic drug until you either switch plans or can afford the higher cost.

Since some drugs don't have generic alternatives, you should also ask your insurance company about that. Hopefully, they will cover the cost of the brand name since a generic isn't on the market.

But you may still need to pay for a decent chunk of the cost. You might decide to go out of network to get the medication you need, but that can also be costly.

11. Certain Generic Drugs Are Significantly Different

While most generic drugs have minimal differences from the brand name, that's not always the case. Some drugs can work differently, and taking the wrong version can have devastating effects.

Narrow therapeutic index drugs include certain medications that require precise dosage. Even a small difference regarding the dose or the blood concentration can keep the medication from working properly.

Drugs that fall into this category include flecainide, lithium, and certain anti-epileptic drugs. If you need to take one of these drugs, you should consider if a generic is safe for you.

Of course, you could experiment with the generic version, and you might do just fine. You and your doctor should consider the risks before you make the switch.

It may be safe for some patients, but it can be problematic for others. Be sure you know if you're on a narrow therapeutic index drug to make sure you get the treatment you need.

12. Some People Do Better on a Brand Name Drug

Whether a drug has a narrow therapeutic index or not, some people do better on the brand name version. That could be due to the inactive ingredients or other small nuances.

If you take the brand name and switch to generic but then have side effects, you may want to revert to the brand name. Switching back could cause you to no longer have those negative effects.

On the other hand, if you have side effects on the brand name drug, you may want to try a generic version. Your health history and factors such as allergies could affect how you react to different versions of the same medication.

Be sure to keep track of your symptoms and when you take the drug in question. Then, you can speak to your doctor about trying the brand name version to see if it helps you.

13. Your Doctor Knows Best

When comparing generic vs brand name drugs, you may form some opinions. You might start to believe that one is better for you than the other or that you can't afford the brand name.

However, you need to consult with your doctor before switching versions. Your doctor will be able to examine you and consider your history with the drug and drugs in general.

They might find that one type of generic drug has an ingredient you shouldn't take. Then, the doctor may suggest you switch to a different manufacturer or to the brand.

If you have to take one specific version, such as the brand, you don't have to go to your local pharmacy. You can talk to your doctor about your options, such as getting a discount card.

Or you might decide to go online to find a cheaper pharmacy where you can order the medication. Then, you won't have to go broke to get the treatment you need.

Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs: How They Compare

Whether you just received a new prescription or have taken a drug for years, you should compare generic vs. brand name drugs. Generics can be affordable, but they look different, and they aren't always as safe as you expect.

On the other hand, brand name drugs are more expensive. And you don't have to wait for a patent to expire to take the medication, which can be nice if no other medicine works.

Are you ready to save money on your generic or brand name drugs? Order your prescription today.

Works Cited

  • FDA: Frequently Asked Questions on Patents and Exclusivity
  • The Hospitalist: Cost gap widens between brand-name, generic drugs
  • PricePro Pharmacy: Want to Save Big on Your Prescriptions? Choose an Online Canadian Pharmacy
  • US Department of Health and Human Services: Treatment of Authorized Generic Drugs
  • PricePro Pharmacy: How Much Do Prescription Drugs Cost Without Insurance?
  • NCBI: Drugs with narrow therapeutic index as indicators in the risk management of hospitalised patients
  • PricePro Pharmacy: Prescription Services at Your Fingertips: How to Order Medicines Online
  • PricePro Pharmacy: How to Order Your Prescription Drugs Online from Canada

How Much Do Prescription Drugs Cost Without Insurance?

Author , posted on July 23, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

how much do prescription drugs cost without insurance

8% of Americans or 26.1 million people don't have any form of health insurance. This puts them at the risk of being unable to obtain necessary treatments and prescription drugs.

All of these citizens may wonder, "how much do prescription drugs cost without insurance?" The unfortunate fact is that there is no single answer. It depends on various factors such as what medications you get and where.

Knowing how much you'll have to pay is the best way to ensure you'll be able to get the right amount without making a huge dent in your wallet. Read our guide for an overview of how much insurance will cost you and how it will affect the price of your medications.

How Much Does Insurance Cost?

Obtaining health insurance can be a life-or-death choice. 34 million adults know a patient who died after not being able to receive treatment. 58 million adults are unable to pay for necessary prescription drugs.

Understanding the costs of your policy is the best way to avoid either of these unfortunate situations. The amount you pay will depend on factors such as where you live, the type of coverage you receive, and the premiums and deductibles your insurance company charges.

Where You Live

The country that you reside in is one of the most important factors that determines your rates. The average monthly cost for an individual to buy health insurance is $403 in the US and $160 in Canada. 

Your final costs also depend on which area of the country you live in. For Americans, insurance rates differ in each state. For example, the average 27-year-old will pay anywhere from $723 per month in Wyoming to $282.20 per month in New Mexico.

Canada uses a better system that allows it to keep costs low. The PRMB or Patented Medicine Prices Review Board ensures that drug prices are fair, informs citizens of prescription trends, and uses other countries to gauge a fair market value.

Drug manufacturers work to create lower rates to ensure they don't lose business. Once they set a price, Canadian Medicare adds 6% of extra coverage, leaving citizens responsible for only 20% of their prescription drug costs.

Look into the average insurance rates and drug costs in your area to ensure you're getting a fair deal. Your prices should match what your neighbors are getting and be enough to cover your needs.

Type of Insurance

There are several types of insurance to choose from provided from a range of different insurance companies and/or the government itself. Your taxes and paycheck go towards them, so you want to make sure you choose the best possible type for your needs.

At least 57% of American firms offer employer health coverage to at least some of their workers. This type of private insurance is one of the most common ways to get insurance.

Everyone in Canada gets basic emergency health insurance paid for by their taxes, but it's not always enough to cover all forms of care or every prescription drug. 

65% of Canadians have private insurance, often through their employers. Most of these additional policies cover:

  • Prescription medications
  • Dental care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Ambulance services
  • Prescription eyeglasses

Choose the right type of insurance and look at the details of your policy before signing on the dotted line. It's the best way to ensure you only pay for what you need and end up paying as little as possible for your crucial medications.


A deductible is a set amount that you must exceed before your insurance company will cover your costs. This applies to everything from a serious medical procedure to a single refill of a prescription drug.


If you're American, remember to consider health insurance deductibles when asking how much you'll pay. The average is $1,655 for a single worker, $2,271 for small firm employees, and $1,412 for large firm employees.


All of these factors determine how much you'll pay for prescription drugs with or without insurance. You need to know your deductible and premium before you fill your prescription to ensure you can afford your prescription.

How Much Do Prescription Drugs Cost Without Insurance?

Americans spend about $1,200 on prescription drugs each year, which is more than any other developed country in the world. This is partially because of the way their healthcare system works.

Prices differ, but knowing everything that affects your final costs in advance is one of the best ways to save money. Factors that affect your medication costs include the type and amount of medication you receive.


Buying in bulk is a useful money-saving strategy for all necessities. It's usually associated with groceries, but it's just as useful for medication.

Bulk orders save you money in the long run by limiting the amount of times you have to return to the pharmacy and pay for a refill. They're a useful way to get around limits in your insurance policy that will only pay for the same prescription a certain number of times.

Bulk purchasing allows you to have as much as you need ready at all times. This is an important consideration for critical daily medications like insulin injections. It's also helpful for occasional medications as well.

For most prescription drugs, a 60-day supply costs only slightly more than a 30-day supply. A 2 or 3-month supply can be an even more economical option.

Splitting higher dosages of medications into the amount you require is another way to save money. If you need to take 2000mg per day, try buying a 4000mg supply and cutting each pill in half so that you have twice as many doses.

Brand Name vs. Generic

84% of prescriptions filled in America are for a generic medication. They're an easily available, equally effective alternative for most popular medications. The choice between these two types of medications would be a matter of preference if they didn't affect your final price so much.

There are several differences between generic and brand-name options. Lower competition leads to lower prices, saving Americans approximately $1.67 trillion.

Certain insurance policies don't cover generic alternatives but, if yours does, it may be the most affordable option for you. It's also a great choice for anyone without insurance who needs to carefully manage their budget.

How Should You Buy Prescriton Drugs?

Your insurance policy and medication needs are only the first two considerations when determining how much your prescriptions will cost. You also need to look into the provider you're purchasing them from.

You have several options when deciding where to get your prescription drugs. You can compare prices at pharmacies, rely on your health insurance, use co-pays, or look for a reputable online pharmacy.

Pharmacy Price Comparison

Traditional pharmacies are one of the most common options for getting medication refills because they're readily available. The downside is that they're not the most affordable and aren't transparent in their pricing.

You may see differences in the hundreds of dollars depending on which pharmacy you use. They need to cover their operational costs when pricing their products, but these vary widely from store to store. This translates to different prices for consumers.

Chain stores like CVS and Rite Aid are the most expensive options with and without insurance. It's best to avoid these familiar powerhouses and search for a more affordable provider.



Answering a question like how much do prescription drugs cost without insurance involves determining how much they cost with insurance. Look at your premium and the price of the drug you need to see if you'll actually be saving any money. If not, consider a new policy or other money-saving methods to help reduce costs.

There are several reasons not to rely solely on insurance when purchasing medications. 

Health insurance companies and Plan D Medicare have a limited list of medications they cover. They won't cover a drug until it's approved by the FDA, and if the prescription you need to fill isn't on their list, you'll have to pay for it out of pocket.

Insurance companies abritraily place medications into categories with similar alternatives and usually cover the cheapest option. You're still required to pay for more expensive options yourself.

Knowing how much your insurance policy covers is helpful, but it may not be enough. Be sure to look into other options to get the best final price.



Co-Pay Cards

Co-pays are an unfortunate part of most insurance plans. They allow the company to only pay a percentage of the cost of your medication and treatments, leaving you to cover the rest. 

A co-pay assistance card or savings program can help with these costs. You can get one from a drug manufacturer, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. Present it to your pharmacist when purchasing the medication for savings on your final bill.

Co-pay cards are unfortunately only available to those with private or commercial insurance and no government insurance like Medicaid or Medicare. Certain states like California don't allow them to be used at all when a generic alternative for the drug you're trying to save money on is available.

The cards also come with limits on how often they can be used and how much savings they can provide. They expire after a period of time as well, which can leave you without the benefits you once enjoyed.

A co-pay card can help reduce the costs you need to pay with insurance, but they're restrictive and don't provide the best savings. There are much better methods for getting your medications at a better price.


Online Pharmacies 

American drug prices are one of the highest in the world, which is why many residents go out of the country to fill their prescriptions.


An online Canadian pharmacy is better than your traditional counter, insurance policy, or co-pay card alone. It costs up to 88% less and offers useful discount coupons. 

Despite the benefits they provide, you need to do research to ensure you find a reputable online Canadian pharmacy. 

Look at the prices they charge for the medication you need, what type of insurance they take, and how much of a supply they can provide. Remember to check shipping costs to ensure that you're not paying too much to have your medication sent to America.

The online pharmacy must also be accredited and verified by Pharmacy Checker. This is the best way to ensure you're not getting ripped off.

Once you've found the right online pharmacy, set up an account and make an order. They'll send you the medication you need, and you can rest easy knowing you'll be paying less than you would in America.

What's the difference in medication costs in Canada and the US?

For many prescriptions, buying from another country can give you astronomical savings of 50% or more. A simple price comparison is enough to show the possibilities.

A few examples of the many medications that cost less in Canada include:

  • Gleevec for cancer treatment:
    • $6200 a month in America
    • $552 in Canada
  • Viagra for erectile dysfunction:
    • $60-70 per pill in America
    • $30 per pill in America for the generic alternative Sildenafil
    • $11.25 per pill for Sildenafil in Canada
  • Cymbalta for depression
    • $200 per month in America
    • $50 per month in Canada
  • Xarelto for blood clots
    • $550 per month in America
    • 50% less or more in Canada
  • EpiPens for allergic reactions
    • Over $100 per dose in America
    • $200 for 2 EpiPens in Canda
  • Januvia for diabetes
    • $400 per month in America
    • $100 per month in Canada
  • Tecfidera for multiple sclerosis
    • $6,000 for 60 pills or $100 per dose in America
    • $25 per pill or $1,100 for a 60-day supply in Canada
  • Advair for asthma
    • $400 per inhaler in America with coupons or insurance
    • Less than $100 in Canada

No matter what type of prescription drug you need, you can save money by trusting a reputable Canadian online pharmacy.



Where Can I Get the Best Prescription Drug Prices?

Several factors play into a question like, "how much do prescription drugs cost without insurance?" It depends on where you are, what your insurance policy includes, which medications you need, and more.

There are several ways to ensure you get the best price. Begin by getting the best possible insurance policy that covers everything you need. Continue by choosing the right type and amount of your medication and finding the best online pharmacy to purchase it from.

PricePro Pharmacy is a reputable Canadian distributor of a range of prescription medications. Contact us today to find what you need at the best possible price, with or without insurance.

Works Cited


How Much Does Mesalamine Cost for Ulcerative Colitis?

Author , posted on March 28, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

Mesalamine cost

An achy stomach. The constant need to head to the bathroom. Guilt about having to cancel events. All of these can come with having ulcerative colitis, and medications like mesalamine can help.

You're probably wondering, does mesalamine cost a lot? If you're on a budget, you can still afford the medication you need.

Keep reading to learn about the cost of mesalamine.

What Is Mesalamine?

Mesalamine is one of many drugs that can treat ulcerative colitis and other diseases of the bowels. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that can cause sores (ulcers) to develop in your large intestine.

Mesalamine is one of many drugs that can help treat ulcerative colitis. You may use it alone or with other drugs, depending on what your doctor recommends.

The drug comes in many forms, including tablets and capsules. It's safe for almost anyone over the age of five to take.

Whether you have ulcerative colitis with or without other conditions, mesalamine can be a good treatment option. And you have multiple ways to get it.

Mesalamine Brands

Mesalamine is the generic name for the medication, and there are a few brand names selling it. The most common brand name in the United States is Apriso.

In Canada, you can get generic mesalamine, or you can choose from a few brand names.

  • Asacol 800
  • Asacol HD
  • Delzicol
  • Lialda
  • Pentasa

All of these brands can work like the generic. They can help treat mild or moderate ulcerative colitis, and they can reduce various disease symptoms, like inflammation.

No matter which your doctor prescribes, you can get the relief you need. And if the cost is a concern, you can ask for the most affordable option your doctor can provide.

How Does It Treat Ulcerative Colitis?

The way mesalamine works depends on the formula you get. Mesalamine comes in tablet and capsule form, and you can get it with a delayed-release or an extended-release formula.

Delayed-release tablets and capsules have a coating that keeps the medication from inactivating before it reaches the stomach. That way, the drug can be more effective at treating ulcerative colitis.

Extended-release capsules release the medication for an extended period after you take them. Whilethe two formulations can treat ulcerative colitis, they aren't the same.

Your doctor should be able to recommend the best formulation for you and your needs.

How Much Does Mesalamine Cost?

The brand, formulation, and medication amount can all affect how much mesalamine costs. Just because the medication label is similar, doesn't mean the cost is.

On average, mesalamine costs $395 for 120 0.375 gram (g) capsules. The brand Apriso has the same dosing, and 120 capsules cost roughly $550.

Meanwhile, 180 delayed-release 400 milligram (mg) capsules cost about $540. Delzicol is the brand equivalent to this dosing, and it costs about $740 for the same supply.

If you prefer the tablet, you can get 120 1.2 g tablets for around $495. The brand Lialda comes with the same formulation, and you would need to pay about $1,200 for the same amount of mesalamine treatment.

A supply of 180 800 mg delayed-release tablets costs around $1,200. Asacol HD is the brand name for this formula, and you can expect to pay about $1,780 for this amount of medication.

Factors That Affect Mesalamine Cost

Like a lot of drugs, mesalamine can be expensive, depending on where you get it. However, you can save a lot of money on your medication if you know where to look.

Before you send your prescription to your local pharmacy, consider if you can get a better deal. That way, you won't have to pay as much for your medication.

Generic vs. Brand

One of the biggest factors that can change your mesalamine price is if you get the generic version or one of the available brands.

While Apriso capsules are relatively affordable, you can save almost $600 on Asacol HD if you get generic mesalamine. The generic can also save you over have the cost of the brand Lialda for the same medication.

If you've taken one of the mesalamine brands, switching to the generic medication is probably the easiest thing you can do. Generic drugs go through the same approval process as brands, so you can know it will be effective.


The amount of competition in the market can also affect the cost of mesalamine. If there was only one brand name selling it, the price would probably be much higher.

However, there are four different brands making various formulations of mesalamine. And that doesn't include any of the manufacturers who aren't working under a brand name.

If you can shop around for different mesalamine manufacturers, you can ensure you get a good deal. Then, you can go back to that maker when you need a refill.

Dosage Form

Overall, mesalamine capsules cost less than the tablets. The prices are lower for both generic and brand names, so a capsule may be a good option if you want to save money.

But you may also want to consider if extended-release or delayed-release is better. The extended-release capsules cost less than the delayed-release. However, you get more tablets in a supply.

Delayed-release capsules have a lower per-unit price. But the delayed-release tablets cost quite a bit more than either type of capsule.

You can also take mesalamine as a rectal suppository or enema. These forms can work as well as the oral forms, but you won't have to take the medication through your mouth.

Dosage Amount

You should also consider how much mesalamine your doctor prescribes you to take each day. Now, you can't always control your dosage, but you can save money.

If you can buy a bigger supply, you may pay less over time. Of course, you can also save money with a generic version and other factors.

But if your symptoms are mild, you may want to consider starting with a lower dose. You can increase it if necessary, but if not, you can keep your medication costs low.


If you've gone to the same pharmacy for years, it can be tempting to take your new mesalamine prescription there. You probably know and trust the pharmacists.

However, some pharmacies can charge a lot more than others. Your pharmacy will have operating costs, and they may not always have enough mesalamine in stock.

Before you submit your prescription, do some price comparison. You can look at local pharmacies and pharmacy chains.

If you still think the cost is high, you can also consider ordering your prescription from abroad. Some international pharmacies can charge less than the one down the street from you.

An international pharmacy can be just as trustworthy. You can get your mesalamine and any other medications you need all in one place.


Of course, you also have to consider your health insurance plan. You should think about your deductible and prescription co-pay amounts.

Depending on your insurance plan, you may need to pay for the entire medication yourself without help from insurance. Even if you have a co-pay, it may be higher than you like.

You can shop around for the best cost, but you may still need to pay a lot. If you don't have much money for your medical expenses, your insurance may not be enough.

You could switch to a new insurance plan. But you'll still need to pay your monthly premium in addition to your medication.

Available Coupons

Some pharmacies know that drugs can cost a lot. So they may offer coupons or discounts on certain medications.

You can find a few mesalamine coupon programs where you can save money. Those programs won't eliminate your drug cost, but they can help.

Consider if you can get a good coupon for a pharmacy near you or abroad. You never know how much you can save unless you try.


You may also want to look into getting a three-month supply instead of a one-month supply. Not only can you save money on shipping, but you can lower your per-unit cost.

Ordering your medications in bulk will cost more when you order. However, bigger supplies usually have lower costs per pill.

The savings apply whether you get generic mesalamine or one of the different brand names. You don't need to stock up for months, after all, that could cause your medication to expire before you get to it.

Still, you can safely order your medication for a few months at a time. Then, you can save time and money on the cost of mesalamine.

What to Consider Before Starting Mesalamine

As with any new medication, you should consider a few things first. You can talk about your concerns with your doctor, including your worry about the cost.

Even if you have plenty of money for the medication, you should still ensure it will be safe for you to take.

Here are a few things to think about before you start mesalamine or switch varieties.

Your Medical History

You should tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you currently have and your other medications and supplements. While mesalamine is relatively safe, you don't want to risk harming yourself.

If you've had surgery recently or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also talk to your doctor. While there aren't any reports of negative reactions during these situations, you should still weigh the benefits and risks.

Your doctor can make a final decision on if mesalamine is right for you. Then, you can get the best version for your situation and needs.

Food and Drug Interactions

Depending on the type of mesalamine you take, you may need to take it with or without food. Your doctor can tell you if your version of the medication requires food or not.

You may also experience mesalamine drug interactions. The medication has a long list of potential interactions with other medicines. Some popular meds include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Salicylic acid

Taking the live varicella virus vaccine can also interact with your mesalamine. You may also have more mesalamine side effects if you also take tamarind or warfarin, but your doctor may still prescribe those drugs with mesalamine if it's the best option.

Of course, you should also watch for allergies or other side effects. If you experience anything, write down your symptoms and the date and time.

You can tell your doctor about those details. And if the mesalamine is the cause, you can make any adjustments to your treatment plan.

Proper Dosage

As you start taking the medication, you also need to consider when and how to take it. Make sure you read the prescription label so that you know how many pills to take at a time or per day.

If you need to take the medicine when you're out of the house, you can pack it in a pill case. Then, you won't have to worry about forgetting it.

When it comes to mesalamine that you should take with food, you can ask your doctor what to eat. You may be able to have a small snack, or you might need to have a fuller meal.

Where to Buy It

After you get your mesalamine prescription, you need to choose where to get it. If you're looking to save money, ordering your medicine online is the best option.

You have access to more pharmacies, so you can get the best price. But before you buy online, make sure you choose a safe, trustworthy pharmacy.

That way, you can know you'll get the right medication and dosage. Buying online can be convenient, but it does come with the risk of not getting what you order.

When you get your order, make sure it has a label with your name, the medication name, and the expiration date. If you've taken mesalamine before, you can also verify that the pills look accurate.

Don't take any medication that doesn't look right. It's not worth the risk to you or your health.

What Will Mesalamine Cost You?

For many people, the mesalamine cost can make taking the medication stressful. However, you don't have to go bankrupt to afford this life-changing medication to treat ulcerative colitis.

You can save money by getting the right dosage and supply. Buying from the best pharmacy can also help you get a good deal.

Are you ready to order mesalamine? Upload your prescription now.

How Much Does Sitagliptin Cost for Diabetes With or Without Insurance?

Author , posted on March 24, 2021

Category: Prescription Related Questions

Sitagliptin cost

One in 10 Americans has diabetes. While doctors use a range of treatments and medications to help patients control their diabetes, sitagliptin is a favorite. 

But what is sitagliptin? Why is it so popular and how much does sitagliptin cost? Here are the facts. 

Why Doctors Prescribe Sitagliptin for Diabetes

Sitagliptin, sold under the brand name Januvia, is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. DPP-4 inhibitors are a class of drugs that block the function of the DPP-4 enzyme and break down incretin. Incretin is a hormone that affects insulin production and glucose production in the liver. 

As a result, sitagliptin and other gliptin medications can help diabetics control their blood sugar. 

This is extremely important as uncontrolled blood sugar can lead or contribute to serious health problems including:

  • Neuropathy (damage to the nerves of the hands or feet)
  • Retinopathy (damage to the eyes, resulting in impaired vision or blindness)
  • Kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Heart attacks and heart failure

Sitagliptin is typically prescribed in conjunction with diet and exercise. It is appropriate for adults with Type 2 diabetes, but it not suitable for Type 1 diabetics or individuals with diabetic ketoacidosis. As around 95 percent of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, this makes the drug appropriate for most diabetic patients.  

Sitagliptin is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets and most users take their assigned dose of sitagliptin once per day.  

Is a Generic Version of Sitagliptin Available?

Currently, there is no generic alternative to sitagliptin available on the market. This is because the drug is relatively new. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Merck’s patent on Januvia in 2006. 

This means that while some portions of the patent have expired, much of it will remain intact until 2026. Thus, no generic version of the drug will be available until then. 

Does Insurance Cover Sitagliptin?

Insurance coverage for Januvia varies. Most Medicare plans do cover a portion of the drug. 

Actual prescription costs for Medicare enrollees vary depending on:

  • What other coverage they have, if any
  • Which Medicare Part D plan they chose to enroll in
  • Whether or not they have reached their annual deductible
  • Whether or not they have reached their plan’s annual out-of-pocket spending limit
  • What drug tier their plan assigned Januvia to
  • The actual retail cost of the drug at the time and place of purchase

Since in many cases Januvia is a higher-tier drug, users with Medicare coverage may pay higher-than-average copays for their sitagliptin prescriptions. 

Non-Medicare coverage of sitagliptin is sporadic. As with Medicare plans, when insurers do cover the drug copays are often high. 

Why Some Insurers Do Not Cover Sitagliptin

Januvia is in high demand and is available only as a brand-name drug. As such, the manufacturer, Merck, can command any price it wants for the product. In fact, an increase in demand caused the cost of the drug to nearly double in the five years between 2010 and 2015.

This makes covering sitagliptin prescriptions extremely costly and undesirable for insurers. 

As a result, some insurance companies choose not to cover it at all. Instead, they cover the generic versions of similar drugs in an effort to encourage doctors and patients to select or switch to those more affordable options instead. 

For example, insurers are much more likely to cover other gliptin medications and sulfonylureas class drugs commonly prescribed for diabetes such as: 

  • Glucophage (Metformin) 
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • Glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTab)
  • Glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • Linagliptin (Tradjenta)
  • Saxagliptin (Onglyza)

Many also cover Janumet, which is a combination of Januvia and Metformin. 

Not all patients will be able to substitute one or more of these drugs for Januvia, however. Januvia is different from other, similar prescriptions in that sitagliptin side effects do not include common risks such as low blood sugar and weight gain. 

For insurance companies, however, not covering Januvia leads to enormous cost savings.  

How Much Does Sitagliptin Cost?

On average, sitagliptin costs between $500 and $650 for a one-month supply. Exact prices vary depending on:

  • Pharmacy size, location, and association
  • Whether tablets are 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg in dosage
  • How many days worth of medication users purchase at once
  • Whether users pay with cash or using an insurance plan
  • Market- and demand-based ebbs and flows in product pricing

These figures represent the cost of sitagliptin for users without insurance or where insurance does not cover the drug. It is impossible to say with any accuracy how much monthly sitagliptin cost will be for patients with insurance since coverage varies so widely and is influenced by so many different factors.

However, Januvia is almost always a top-tier drug when it is covered. Patients can expect to pay whatever the highest copay approved under their insurance plan is for each prescription. For most patients, this comes out to around $500 per month.  

This makes sitagliptin treatment one of patients’ costliest options for treating their diabetes.

Alternatives to Sitagliptin

In light of Januvia’s high costs, some patients and their doctors may choose alternative forms of diabetes management. Most start with a combination of Metformin and diet and lifestyle changes. When this is insufficient to bring blood sugar levels under control, the next step is to explore the use of sulphonylurea medications such as:

  • Diabinese
  • Glynase
  • Glucotrol
  • Amaryl
  • Tolinase

Sulphonylurea medications prompt the pancreas to produce more insulin, which helps lower blood sugar levels. These drugs have been on the market since the 1950s, meaning that generic versions are readily available. This makes them ideal for cheap diabetes treatment. 

Not all patients tolerate sulphonylureas well, however. Those patients and their doctors may want to explore gliptin medications, which use a different mechanism in the body to control insulin and glucose levels.

Many older gliptin medications such as Linagliptin (Tradjenta) and Saxagliptin (Onglyza) are available in inexpensive generic versions. On average, generic gliptins cost about $20 a month. Switching to any of these other drugs, alone or in combination with Metformin, may allow users to avoid the high cost of a sitagliptin prescription. 

Why Alternatives Are Not Always an Option

For many patients, sulphonylureas and other gliptin medications are not a safe or viable option. Potentially dangerous or debilitating side-effects include:

  • Severe drops in blood sugar levels
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills and cold sweats
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Changes to appetite
  • Shakiness and slurred speech
  • Weakness and fatigue, up to and including loss of consciousness
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Debilitating joint pain
  • Weight gain
  • Allergic-type reactions

When this is the case, patients may have no choice but to choose sitagliptin treatment over all others to help them control their diabetes. 

Fortunately, it is possible to save money on your sitagliptin prescription. 

Saving Money on Your Prescription: Coupons and Rebates

Some patients may qualify for coupon or rebate programs that reduce the cost of taking sitagliptin for diabetes management. 

Merck runs a coupon program that allows eligible users to get sitagliptin for $5 a month for the first year that they take the drug. While not everyone will qualify for such steep discounts, in many cases the program can cut the cost of the drug in half. 

To qualify, patients generally must:

  • Have private insurance coverage
  • Be prescribed sitagliptin by their doctors 
  • Meet other income and eligibility requirements 

The program is not open to patients with Medicare or Medicaid. Patients enrolling in the program should also be aware that in most cases it is a limited time offer. Once the initial offer expires, they will have to pay full price for their medication. 

Doctors’ Discounts 

Patients who need help affording their medications should talk to their doctors. Many physicians and medical provider organizations receive coupons or other discount codes from pharmaceutical companies to encourage them to prescribe new or brand-name medications instead of older generic drugs. 

Your physician may be able to pass some of these coupons or codes on to you to reduce your costs. Coupons and codes may be hard copy or digital. Digital codes can be opened on your cell phone or other digital device and presented to your pharmacy at the time of purchase. 

Saving Money on Your Prescription: Patient Assistance Program Enrollment 

Patient assistance programs are similar to coupon and rebate programs with a few key differences. They are similar in that they allow patients to purchase or receive their medications at very low prices. They also tend to have very specific eligibility requirements. 

Patient assistance programs are different from coupon programs in that users can often remain enrolled for as long as:

  • Their doctors prescribe the medication for an approved condition
  • They live in a covered geographic area
  • They continue to meet eligibility requirements
  • They document their continuing eligibility periodically as required

These programs exist to get medication to users who need it most but who have no hope of affording it through other means. As such, to be eligible for enrollment, you must usually be part of a very low-income household. You must also have no health insurance or carry health insurance that does not adequately cover your medication needs. 

Additional terms and conditions may apply, so it is important to read all program guidelines carefully before assuming that you will qualify for coverage. Like coupon programs, however, patient assistance programs can sometimes prove invaluable by helping patients access sitagliptin long enough to:

  • Stabilize their condition
  • Explore alternative treatment options
  • Find alternative means of covering their medication costs 

Saving Money on Your Prescription: Savvy Shopping 

Perhaps the best way to make sitagliptin treatment affordable is to change where you fill your prescriptions. Most patients fill their prescriptions at local pharmacies out of habit more than anything else. In some cases, patients may base their choice of pharmacy on their insurance plan and its “in-network” versus “out-of-network” options and costs. 

But in situations where insurance is not covering your costs, using a pharmacy near your home is often not the best option. You can end up paying much more than necessary, particularly if you live in an area with a high cost of living.

Even if insurance will cover some of your costs, you may be able to get better pricing by switching where you fill your prescription. For many diabetic patients, specifically, buying sitagliptin online can radically cut medication costs. 

Buying online allows you to source your medications from pharmacies not only outside your immediate geographic region but also from outside the United States. This is important because pharmaceuticals are more expensive in America than they are in most other countries. 

Purchasing your medications through a certified pharmacy somewhere else via the web allows you to bypass hefty drug prices and enjoy the savings available to diabetics elsewhere. This can put even popular, brand-name drugs like Januvia within financial reach. 

As an added benefit, ordering online also allows you to have your medication delivered to your door. This saves time and money and can serve as an extra layer of safety for immunologically high-risk patients during flu season or quarantine periods. 

Saving Money on Your Prescription: Getting Creative 

In addition to all of the above, your doctor may be able to assist you in finding other creative ways to keep the costs of your sitagliptin treatment down. These may include:

  • Using sitagliptin in conjunction with other drugs to minimize how much you need
  • Writing prescriptions for larger tablets you then cut in half for the correct dose to stretch how long a bottle lasts
  • Combining sitagliptin with diet and lifestyle changes that minimize how much you need 
  • Using sitagliptin as a temporary treatment while exploring less expensive options long-term or to stabilize your condition so that other options can become viable

Making Sitagliptin Affordable

At first glance, sitagliptin cost can seem prohibitive. With the right sourcing strategy, however, sitagliptin treatment can become an affordable option for almost anyone. Learn more about how ordering online can help you get the medications you need when you need them without breaking the bank.