Aug 3, 2010

Generic Exelon (Rivastigmine)

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Yesterday I wrote an update about generic Aricept and Namenda -- Generic Aricept and Namenda Update.

We received a couple of comments here and a few on our Facebook page.

The interesting thing -- all the comments were about Exelon (Rivastigmine)

We don't use this medication so I don't know much about it.

Now to the point.

Carol wrote:
AARP Prescriptions just sent a generic for Exelon Pills--Rivstigmine Tartrate capsules--only $502.63 for over the donut hole price for three months. Otherwise it would be over $600. The government check for $250 hardly helps.

Then Jay Smith wrote:
Bob, FYI, A generic alternative to Exelon (Rivastigmine) recently became available, and insurance companies are being aggressive about switching Exelon users to it.

I decided to go into the website of my mother's health care provider, Humana, and see what the cost would be for us.

My mother is in the Humana Medicare Advantage HMO. She signs her Medicare over to Humana and we receives some advantages.

The cost of generic Exelon -- Rivastigmine -- to us would be ZERO. $0.00.

I searched 3 mg capsule, 180 pills, for a 90 day supply. Same cost if you put in 6 mg capsule. I understand that the Medicare Doughnut Hole does come into play here.

So the big question for patients on generic Exelon, how much is this new generic version of the drug going to cost next year? The amount is important because even when you receive the drug free, and without a co-pay, the actual cost of the drug is applied to your coverage limits covered under Medicare Part D.

If the price of generic Exelon goes low enough some patients might get out of the doughnut hole. Even if you go into the doughnut hole, you should still save substantially each month on the cost of generic Exelon. So it appears that some price relief is on the way.

One of the main factors in determining the cost of a generic drug is the amount of competition. In other words, if more than one or two generic drug manufacturers decide to make a specific generic drug like Exelon this can and does effect the price to the consumer. The more competitors the tighter the profit margins -- the lower the price to you.

The number of people on Aricept is much greater than the number of people on Exelon. So those taking Aricept will be anxious to learn the new pricing once the generic version of Aricept becomes available.

I am expecting heavy competition over time with Aricept. It is likely that the price will continue to drop over time as the competition heats up and more manufacturers come into the market.

I am going to talk to the pharmacist at Walmart about Exelon if I can get his attention next time I go in.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,690 articles with more than 70,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room