Why is Myrbetriq So Expensive – As one of the most commonly prescribed medications for overactive bladder, Myrbetriq has helped many patients find relief from urinary incontinence and urgency.
However, the high cost of Myrbetriq can be a significant barrier for some patients, leading them to wonder why it is so expensive and if there are more affordable alternatives available. In this article, we will explore 11 reasons behind the high cost of Myrbetriq and discuss possible solutions and alternatives.
Understanding Myrbetriq and Its Benefits
Before diving into the reasons for Myrbetriq’s high cost, let’s first understand what it is and how it works. Myrbetriq, also known by its generic name mirabegron, is a medication that helps relax the muscles in the bladder, reducing the frequency of urination and urgency.
It is FDA-approved for the treatment of overactive bladder in adults and has been shown to be effective in reducing urinary incontinence and improving patients’ quality of life.
Myrbetriq works by activating beta-3 adrenergic receptors, which are located in the bladder’s smooth muscle cells.
By activating these receptors, Myrbetriq helps relax the bladder muscle, increasing its capacity and reducing the urge to urinate.
Why is Myrbetriq So Expensive?
Now that we understand how Myrbetriq works let’s explore the reasons behind its high cost:
- Research and Development Costs: Developing a new medication involves significant research and development costs, including clinical trials and regulatory approval. These costs are typically passed on to consumers to recoup the investment made by the pharmaceutical company.
- Patent Protection: Pharmaceutical companies can obtain patents for their medications, giving them exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the drug for a set period. During this time, they can charge higher prices to recoup their development costs and make a profit.
- Limited Competition: Myrbetriq is currently the only medication approved for the treatment of overactive bladder that works by activating beta-3 adrenergic receptors. This lack of competition allows the manufacturer to charge a premium price.
- Marketing and Promotion Costs: Pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in marketing and promoting their medications to healthcare professionals and patients, which adds to the overall cost of the drug.
- Distribution Costs: Getting medication from the manufacturer to the pharmacy and ultimately to the patient involves several costs, including shipping, storage, and insurance.
- Administrative Costs: Pharmaceutical companies must comply with various regulations and requirements, which can add to the overall cost of the drug.
- Cost of Raw Materials: The cost of the raw materials used to manufacture the medication can also contribute to its high cost.
- Cost of Manufacturing: The process of manufacturing medication involves several complex steps, and the equipment and personnel required can add to the overall cost.
- Insurance Coverage: Some insurance plans may not cover the cost of Myrbetriq or may require patients to pay a high copay or deductible, making it less affordable.
- Geographical Location: The cost of medication can vary by location, with some areas having higher prices due to supply and demand or other factors.
- Supply Chain Disruptions: Disruptions to the supply chain, such as natural disasters or pandemics, can impact the availability and cost of medication.
When Will Myrbetriq Go Generic?
Many patients are eager for Myrbetriq to go generic, as generic versions are typically much more affordable.
However, the earliest that Myrbetriq’s patent is set to expire is in 2028, so it may be several years before a generic version is available.
What Are the Dangers of Myrbetriq?
While Myrbetriq is generally considered safe and effective for most patients, like all medications, it does come with some potential risks and side effects.
Some of the most common side effects of Myrbetriq include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Urinary tract infection
- Nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the nose and throat)
Less common but more severe side effects can also occur, such as allergic reactions, angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), and urinary retention.
Patients should always talk to their healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits of any medication before starting treatment.
Is There A Cheaper Alternative to Myrbetriq?
For patients who find Myrbetriq too expensive or experience side effects, there are several alternative medications available.
Some options include:
- Oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol): This medication is a type of anticholinergic drug that helps relax the bladder muscle and reduce urinary urgency and frequency.
- Tolterodine (Detrol): Like oxybutynin, tolterodine is an anticholinergic medication that can help reduce bladder spasms and urinary urgency.
- Solifenacin (Vesicare): This medication is another type of antimuscarinic drug that can help reduce urinary frequency and urgency.
- Fesoterodine (Toviaz): This medication is a newer antimuscarinic drug that works similarly to tolterodine and oxybutynin but may have fewer side effects.
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes such as bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, and dietary modifications may also help reduce urinary incontinence and improve bladder control.
In conclusion, Myrbetriq is a medication that has helped many patients find relief from overactive bladder symptoms.
However, its high cost can be a significant barrier for some patients. The reasons for Myrbetriq’s high cost include research and development costs, limited competition, marketing and promotion costs, and insurance coverage.
While a generic version of Myrbetriq may not be available for several years, there are alternative medications and lifestyle changes that can help improve bladder control and reduce urinary incontinence.
As with any medication, patients should always talk to their healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits before starting treatment.