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Why is Eliquis so expensive?

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

American consumers have long yearned for an answer to one major question: Why do they spend so much more on some drugs than people in other nations do? This problem extends to life-saving medications like Eliquis, which are cheaper in other countries. Eliquis is quite expensive in the United States for a variety of reasons, keep reading to find out why.

What is Eliquis?

Eliquis is a brand name for apixaban – prescription-only medications with FDA approval for the treatment and prevention of blood clots. Apixaban belongs to the class anti-Xa inhibitor and is available as a 2.5mg and 5mg oral tablet.

Types of Antithrombotic Medications

There are three categories of antithrombotic medications:

  1. Antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and dipyridamole (Persantine), which are used to treat arterial thrombosis.
  2. Fibrinolytic medications, such as Streptokinase, Urokinase, Alteplase, etc., treat thrombus disorders such as deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
  3. Anticoagulants/blood thinners, such as warfarin (Jantoven), heparin (Porcine), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), edoxaban (Savaysa), dabigatran (Pradaxa), and apixaban (Eliquis), which are used to treat venous thrombosis.

Eliquis is equally effective as heparin and warfarin if not more but carries a lower risk of bleeding and drug interactions.

How does Eliquis Work?

Eliquis selectively and reversibly blocks the active site of factor Xa thus inhibiting platelet activation without the need for a cofactor like an antithrombin III.

What are the Uses of Eliquis?

Eliquis has been given FDA approval to:

  • Treat adults with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). This blood clot develops inside a deep vein in your arm or leg.
  • Treat Pulmonary Embolism (PE). A blood clot that obstructs the lungs' blood arteries.
  • Prevent recurrence of DVT or PE following initial treatment.
  • Protect patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery from PE and DVT.

What is the Cost of Eliquis?

Where you buy Eliquis, your health insurance plan, and the brands you choose all have an impact on how much it costs. Because it is not available in generic currently, only the branded Eliquis is available in the United States. It cost up to $700 for a 30-day supply. These come at a hefty expense for those who must take them for a lengthy period.

Eliquis is the most expensive anticoagulant in the U. S. followed by Xarelto which costs over $660 for a 30-day package.

It is not surprising why people are eagerly awaiting the generic version to lessen the cost. If you do not have insurance or qualify for the Manufacturers Co-Pay Card, you can used the free rxless prescription discount card to save over $120 off the retail price.

Why is Eliquis Expensive?

The price of Eliquis in the U. S. is significantly greater in the United State because the government does not impose any restrictions on the markup pharmaceutical companies can add to the production cost of a drug. This is their attempt to make the pharmaceutical industry profitable to be able to generate money to sponsor the discovery of new drugs.

Another reason is that the United States grants a patent, which typically lasts 20 years, to the pharmaceutical industry that discovers the medications. However, low-cost generics will be accessible following the expiration of this entitlement in 2026.