Aug 17, 2011

Generic Donepezil, Aricept Cost $27

You can buy generic Aricept, Donepezil, for $110 a year from a reputable retailer like Costco

Generic Donepezil, Aricept, $27

Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Donepezil is marketed under the trade name Aricept by its developer Eisai and partner Pfizer (PFE).

All pharmaceutical companies sell medication under a brand name. Aricept, pretty catchy, Donepezil not so catchy. Plus only 2 out of 10 people can pronounce Donepezil correctly.

When you go into the pharmacy looking for the lowest price generic Aricept available you want to ask for Donepezil. This will take all of the guess work out of the equation.

If you decide you want branded generic Aricept you will be paying a substantially higher price as evidenced in the graphic below.

See the latest update on pricing 

I took the snapshot image above from the Costco website.

The price for Aricept (branded generic) is on the top, and the price for Donepezil (generic Aricept) is on the bottom. As you can see,

branded generic Aricept costs $840.55 for a 90 day supply. 
Donepezil costs $27.22 for a 90 day supply.

Imagine, less than a year ago, we were paying the equivalent of $750 or more for a 90 day supply of Aricept, and most of us were going into the black hole known as the Medicare Donut Hole. Fast forward and we can now buy a year supply of Donepezil for less than $110.00

I want to reiterate a point I made in the previous article about generic Aricept, Generic Aricept Alternative Cost Pricing (Donepezil), you need to know the price that is being charged to your Medicare Part D account, not the price that is coming out of your pocket when you buy "generic Aricept".

Example number one..

I could go  to any of these retailers near our home in Delray Beach: Walmart, Walgreen's or Costco and ask for Aricept. The price would be around $270 for a 30 day supply. However, I would pay $80 out of pocket. I am assuming here I asked for Aricept and they handed me the branded generic Aricept. The $80 would be the current co-pay under our Humana drug coverage plan. However, the amount that would be charged to my Medicare Part D account would be $270.

I hope you understand, the amount charged to your Medicare Part D account is not the amount you pay out of pocket, it is the full amount paid. The full amount includes any amount you pay out of pocket, plus the amount the plan pays. In this example, we pay $80, Human pays $190, and the combined total, $270, is charged to our Medicare account.

If you are paying $270 or more for generic Aricept, you will end up in the Medicare Donut Hole soon. When you get into the Medicare Donut hole, you then pay 100 percent of any drug you take until your reach the catastrophic level. Put it this way. You will be out of pocket $5,000 or more when you finally get some catastrophic drug coverage.

Example number two.

If I go into Costco and ask for Donepezil, it is not going to cost us anything out of pocket under out current Humana coverage. Humana has a zero copay for Donepezil.

For the entire year, only about $110.00 is going to be charged to my mother's Medicare Part D drug account for the entire year. No Medicare donut hole.

If you cannot find a pharmacy near you selling Donepezil cheap don't worry. You can buy Donepezil online from the Costco online pharmacy. You do not need a membership to buy from Costco or the Costco online pharmacy.

If it turns out for some reason that your healthcare provider is billing you a high price toward your Medicare Part D, or charging you a high co-pay, $40 or more per month, don't worry. You can buy the drug with your own money and without any healthcare coverage at Costco. This way you will get the savings.

I would expect that you will be able to find similar prices for Donepezil soon at all major retailers. Drug sales to consumers is a highly competitive market.

Please keep us posted on prices and your own experience.

Please share this story with everyone you know via email or social media.

Keep this in mind, the Internet is vast and information can spread fast. So even if you send this to someone that has not been directly touched by Alzheimer's disease, it is likely that they know someone that has.

Please share this information in corporate environment. Good, high quality information tends to spread fast in large corporations or associations.

Please share this information in support groups.

Please don't assume that everyone is getting these new low prices. They are not. I am still receiving emails to the contrary.

In addition, price and cost information for generic Aricept alternatives are being actively sought on Internet search engines. Many of those folks are ending up here, but only a small fraction of the whole.

Full Disclosure: I am not affiliated with, nor am I receiving any compensation, from Costco or any pharmaceutical company at this time. I am not a doctor. The information above is for informational purposes only. You should do your own due diligence and consult with your doctor(s) and pharmacist before making any decisions based on this information.

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