5 Prescriptions that Don’t Have Generic Alternatives


Over the years, the cost of prescription drugs has continued to increase. To lower costs, people who take prescription medications have instead opted for the generic version. For most medications, the generic option costs about 30% less than the brand name. This is because generic drug companies don’t have to pay to invent and test a drug, a process that often costs millions.

While many common drugs are available in generic versions, some are not. Drugs cannot be offered in a generic form until the original patent expires.

Here are 5 prescription medications that don’t have generic options as well as other methods to cut the cost of your prescriptions:

  1. Daraprim

Daraprim was a hot topic in late 2015. The drug, which originally cost $13.50 a tablet, shot up to $750 per tablet overnight. The drug is used to prevent malaria and other infections but is mainly used to treat toxoplasmosis. This is a disease caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the most common parasites around the world.

  1. Vyvanse

While there are many ADHD medications on the market, including generic options, Vyvanse is a widely preferred prescription for its consistency in improving focus and concentration. The problem is that the medication isn’t yet available in generic forms, so patients must pay high costs to control their ADHD.

  1. Cialis

When many people think of Cialis, they think of erectile dysfunction. While the prescription is used to treat ED, it’s also been approved to treat an enlarged prostate. Cialis is also useful in treating high blood pressure in the lungs. The good news is that a generic version of the drug is expected to be released in 2018!

  1. Xarelto

Xarelto is a prescription blood thinner that can be useful for treating a variety of conditions. The drug prevents blood clots which in turn lowers the risk of pulmonary embolism, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis. A generic version of Xarelto is expected to be available in 2020.

  1. Lyrica

Lyrica is prescribed to treat nerve and muscle pain, most notably the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. The drug has also proven to be effective in treating seizures. A generic version of Lyrica can be developed in mid-2018 after the maker’s patent expires.

Reducing the Cost of Prescriptions

Without a generic version of your prescription, you may feel stuck and constantly under the pressure of paying high costs for your prescription medications. The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to decrease the cost of your medications. Here are a few options to consider to get out from under the financial strain of drug costs.

Ask for Free Samples

Pharmaceutical companies routinely send free samples to doctors, especially newer drugs. If you’re having trouble affording your prescription medication, ask your doctor if free samples are available. Since you’re unlikely to be able to receive free samples for the rest of your life, this is a temporary money-saving option.

Use Coupons

Like many other products in life, there are coupons that can be used for your prescription medications. You can find coupons online, in magazines, at your doctor’s office, and even on the drug manufacturer’s website. These coupons can save you hundreds of dollars a month, depending on the cost of the medication that you take.

Along with coupons, manufacturers also offer discount cards for even more savings. For instance, if you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, you may want to look into getting a Vyvanse discount card. You can also find these cards online or at your doctor’s office.

Use an Online Pharmacy

Online pharmacies are often much less expensive than brick and mortar options. Today there are more than 35,000 legitimate online pharmacies that sell medications around the world. To protect yourself, ensure you’re only purchasing from a pharmacy that has a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites Seal. It’s also important to only purchase FDA-approved medications, otherwise you risk purchasing a harmful drug.

Compare Prices

Just like food, clothing and appliances, drug prices aren’t the same at every retailer. Before filling your prescription, shop around to see which pharmacy offers the lowest price. Since driving around and asking pharmacists how much a certain drug costs, you’ll want to use an online prescription drug comparison site like GoodRx or BlinkHealth.

By comparing prices, you can figure out which pharmacy offers the lowest price which means less money spent on prescriptions.


Despite the competitive nature of the pharmaceutical industry, there will always be drugs that have no competition because of a lack of a generic option. Thankfully there are other ways to spend less on prescription medications without putting your health at risk.

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