Why is Eliquis So Expensive? Reasons Explained

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Why Is Eliquis So Expensive – Eliquis (apixaban) is a medication commonly prescribed to prevent blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation or who have undergone certain types of surgery.

While the medication is effective at reducing the risk of blood clots, it can also come with a high price tag.

Many patients are left wondering why Eliquis is so expensive and what they can do to save money on the cost of the medication. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the high cost of Eliquis, when a generic version of the medication may become available, and what patients can do to save money on the cost of the medication.

Why Is Eliquis So Expensive?

Why Is Eliquis So Expensive

While the drug has proven to be highly effective, many patients have raised concerns about the high cost of Eliquis. Here are the reasons why Eliquis is so expensive and provide tips on how to save money on the medication.

Research and Development Costs

The research and development (R&D) costs associated with developing a new medication are significant. According to a report by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the average cost of bringing a new drug to market is over $2.6 billion.

Pharmaceutical companies are expected to recoup these costs through drug sales, which can result in higher prices for medications like Eliquis.

Clinical Trials

Before a new medication can be approved by the FDA, it must undergo clinical trials to test its safety and effectiveness. These trials can be costly and time-consuming, and the costs are often passed on to consumers in the form of higher drug prices.

Patent Protection

Pharmaceutical companies are granted patent protection on new drugs, which allows them to be the sole manufacturer of the medication for a certain period of time.

This exclusivity allows the company to charge higher prices for the medication, as there is no competition from generic manufacturers.

Marketing Costs

Pharmaceutical companies spend significant amounts of money on marketing their medications to doctors and patients. This can include advertising campaigns, free samples, and promotional materials.

These marketing costs can add to the overall cost of the medication.

Distribution and Supply Chain Costs

Getting medication to patients requires a complex supply chain that includes manufacturing, transportation, and distribution. Each step in the process adds to the cost of the medication.

Manufacturing Costs

The cost of manufacturing medications can be high, particularly for complex drugs like Eliquis. This includes the cost of raw materials, equipment, and labor.

Insurance Reimbursement

Insurance companies negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to determine the price they will pay for medications. If the negotiated price is high, this can result in higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.

Prescription Drug Benefit Design

The design of prescription drug benefit plans can also impact the cost of medications like Eliquis. For example, some plans may require patients to pay a higher co-pay for brand-name drugs, which can make the medication more expensive.

Medicaid Rebates

Pharmaceutical companies are required to provide rebates to state Medicaid programs for medications purchased by Medicaid beneficiaries.

These rebates can reduce the cost of medications, but they may not be enough to make the medication affordable for all patients.

Foreign Drug Pricing

The cost of medications in other countries can be significantly lower than in the United States. This can make it difficult for patients in the U.S. to afford medications like Eliquis.

Lack of Generic Competition

Eliquis is currently protected by patents, which means that there is no generic version of the medication available. When a generic version does become available, it is likely that the cost of the medication will be significantly lower.

Is There A Cheaper Substitute for Eliquis?

There are several medications that can be used as substitutes for Eliquis, including:

  • Warfarin
  • Pradaxa
  • Xarelto
  • Savaysa

These medications work in a similar way to Eliquis and can be more affordable for some patients. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication regimen.

Why is Eliquis So Expensive on Medicare?

Medicare sets the prices that pharmaceutical companies can charge for medications covered under the program. However, the government is prohibited from negotiating directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices.

As a result, Medicare beneficiaries may end up paying more for medications like Eliquis.

In addition, Medicare Part D plans can vary in their coverage of medications and the cost-sharing requirements for beneficiaries. This means that some Medicare beneficiaries may have to pay more for Eliquis than others.

When Will Eliquis Be Available As A Generic?

Why Is Eliquis So Expensive

Eliquis is currently protected by patents, which means that generic versions of the medication are not yet available. The earliest that a generic version of Eliquis could be available is in 2026 when the patent for the medication is set to expire.

However, there may be legal challenges or other delays that could push back the availability of a generic version of Eliquis.

How Can I Get Eliquis for $10 A Month?

There are several programs that can help patients save money on the cost of Eliquis, including:

  • Manufacturer Discounts: The manufacturer of Eliquis, Bristol Myers Squibb, offers a patient assistance program that can provide discounts on the cost of the medication for eligible patients.
  • Medicare Extra Help: Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income and resources may be eligible for Extra Help, a program that provides assistance with the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Prescription Discount Cards: Prescription discount cards, such as GoodRx, can provide discounts on the cost of medications like Eliquis at participating pharmacies.
  • Generic Alternatives: When a generic version of Eliquis becomes available, it is likely to be significantly less expensive than the brand-name medication.

Can You Be On Eliquis for Life?

In some cases, patients may need to take Eliquis for the rest of their lives to manage a condition like atrial fibrillation or to prevent blood clots.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of long-term use of Eliquis and to discuss any concerns you may have about the cost of the medication.

How to Save Money On Eliquis?

Why Is Eliquis So Expensive

Here are some additional tips for saving money on the cost of Eliquis:

  1. Shop Around: The cost of medications can vary widely from one pharmacy to another. Consider shopping around to find the pharmacy with the lowest price for Eliquis.
  2. Ask for Generic Alternatives: While there is no generic version of Eliquis currently available, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication that is less expensive.
  3. Use Prescription Assistance Programs: Many pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs that can provide discounts or free medications to eligible patients.
  4. Consider Switching Insurance Plans: If the cost of Eliquis is a major concern, it may be worth considering switching to an insurance plan with lower co-pays or a higher level of drug coverage.


The high cost of Eliquis can be a significant burden for many patients, particularly those who need to take the medication long-term.

However, there are ways to save money on the cost of the medication, including shopping around for the lowest price, using prescription assistance programs, and considering switching insurance plans.

Patients should talk to their doctor about any concerns they have about the cost of Eliquis and explore all of their options for saving money on the medication.


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