Sep 6, 2011

Donepezil Aricept Price Falls by 90 Percent

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

By +Bob DeMarco 
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Donepezil Aricept Price Falls by 90 Percent

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.

You can now buy a one year supply of Donepezil for $109.00.

This time last year you might have expected to pay $3,000.00 or more for a one year supply. Imagine.

See the latest update on pricing 

Since I last wrote about generic Aricept, 14 people emailed me to let me know that they are now saving $800 a quarter on their purchase of Donepezil. More than $3,000 a year.

Take a look at this current grid from the Costco pharmacy.

Most of those who wrote to me about the previous generic Aricept article, did not realize that when they paid a $45 a month co-pay for Aricept that was not the amount that was being charged to their Medicare Part D account.

Your Medicare Part D account gets charged the full retail price of any drug you purchase. So if the full retail price is $280, but the co-pay is only $45, the real price gets obscured. Your Medicare Part D account is charged the full $280 price for Aricept.

If you are not careful you will end up in the Medicare donut hole. Once in the Medicare donut hole you pay 100 percent of the cost of any drug you purchase until you reach the catastrophic coverage level. By then, you will likely be out of pocket more than $4,500.

Lower generic Donepezil prices are bad news for the pharmaceutical companies, but this is wonderful news for the more than 1,200 new persons that are being diagnosed with Alzheimer's each day (on average).

Pharmaceuticals companies are often vilified for their high prices; however, when patents expire consumers get to enjoy the benefits from the drugs, and often at a 90 percent lower price. Everyone wins in the long run.

These new lower prices for Donepezil will also allow more Alzheimer's patients to afford the combination of Aricept and Namenda (Memantine). This is good news for those in the Alzheimer's community that find this combination treatment effective (like we do).

Please read this part carefully.

I learned over the years that the typical American does not understand how Medicare Part D works. I cannot tell you how many older people tell me that their drugs are free when there is no co-pay, or that the drug only costs $40-45 based on the co-pay. As they age, and once they start to need "high priced" drugs, they will be in for a real price shock if they don't buy the generic equivalents when available.

Keep this in mind. When Dotty was 87 years old she took a blood pressure pill and a cholesterol pill, so the cost of drugs was not an issue. From 2004 - 2008 we went into the Medicare donut for thousands of dollars each year. Thanks to the growing number of generic drugs that are effective, we will not be going into the Medicare donut hole this year (second year in a row).

Please take this information about Donepezil into support groups, to the Walks you might be attending over the next months, or even into the office where you might know someone that has been touched by Alzheimer's.

Do not assume that your family, friends and associates know this information.

Spread the word. You can also help by sharing this information on Facebook, Twitter and via your Google accounts.

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,700 articles with more than 298,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

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.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room