Why Is Eliquis So Expensive?

Wednesday 21 August 2019
8 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. One major reason is that there is still no generic version of Eliquis.

a. That's because the patent hasn't expired yet.

b. And Bristol-Myers Squibb isn't exactly encouraged to let it.

c. What's more, they control Eliquis' pricing.

d. That's not all they can control either.

II. You may find a cheaper alternative to Eliquis, however.

III. But you can still get Eliquis with assistance.

a. In certain cases, you may be able to get Eliquis for free.

b. If you're not eligible for that, Medicare can still cover Eliquis for you.

c. If neither assistance nor Medicare really help, we're here for you.

IV. In short, Eliquis doesn't have to be expensive.


If you take Eliquis, you know how important it is to maintain your supply of it. After all, it’s what helps prevent your body from developing strokes or blood clots.[1] Without it, you could experience a pulmonary embolism,[2] damaging your lungs permanently.

Sadly, more and more Americans like yourself are losing the ability to stay protected. At least 24% now report that it’s difficult to afford their medication.[3]

The reason?

Well, the price for Eliquis alongside many other American medications just keeps rising. In fact, oral and injectable brand-name drugs have been increasing each year by 9.2% and 15.1% respectively.[4]

But why is this?

Let’s explore the reasons and what you can do.

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a puzzle piece fitting into place

One major reason is that there is still no generic version of Eliquis.

UPDATE: As of 2021, generic Eliquis is now available through Rx Connected. It is not currently on the market in the United States, but if you buy through an online Canadian pharmacy, we can source you cheaper alternatives to brand name Eliquis. Generic Eliquis has been approved for safe and effective consumption and treatment for blood clots, so need to worry about its efficacy. You can start saving on your Eliquis treatment plan today on Rx Connected. That’s because the patent hasn’t expired yet.

See more details

It’s true that technically Eliquis’ market exclusivity has expired.[5] So companies can apply to see if they can make and sell generic versions of Eliquis, which would be cheaper for the same quality as brand-name Eliquis.[6] However, they can’t do much else.

Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company that owns Eliquis, still has patent protection. So, while other companies can submit applications for Eliquis, they can’t actually sell or make it yet. There will not be a generic version of Eliquis until the patent expires.

Currently, that patent isn’t set to expire until February 24, 2031, at the latest.[7]


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And Bristol-Myers Squibb isn’t exactly encouraged to let it.

For one, Bristol-Myers Squibb (along with partner Pfizer Inc) earns quite a bit from Eliquis. For instance, recent sales of the medication created a 24% increase in profit.[8] In turn, they gained around $2.04 billion in the second quarter of 2019.

This profit would be much smaller if they let other companies sell generic Eliquis. So to protect it, Bristol-Myers Squibb has filed multiple lawsuits against competing companies. These include ones like Mylan that have already started working on making generic Eliquis.

What’s more, they control Eliquis’ pricing.

Unlike many other countries, America lets the market dictate prices.[9] So this means that Eliquis costs as much as its company would like it to.

The idea behind this choice is that competing companies will keep each other in check. They want to make sure customers remain invested in their product. So they'd keep their prices looking reasonable compared to one another, right?

a man displaying empty pockets

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have worked out that way. The reality is that companies continue to drive their prices up. And they do so while trying to block other companies from creating cheap alternatives.

That’s not all they can control either.

If the company wanted, Bristol-Myers Squibb could also try to control companies with the Pay to Delay approach.[10] This approach involves paying a competing company to not sell their generic Eliquis. In this case, both companies would earn more money. But everyone else will end up paying a higher price. After all, there is no cheap version of Eliquis to turn to.

You may find a cheaper alternative to Eliquis, however.

Luckily, even though Eliquis doesn’t have a generic version, you do have other options! For instance, Coumadin is a blood thinner with two generic alternatives: warfarin and jantoven. Unlike Eliquis’ typical $448 a month, either alternative may cost under $10 a month. Through Rx Connected, you can receive fast shipping of Eliquis straight to your door. 

Both medications can increase your risk of bleeding, however.[11] So you’ll want to talk to your doctor first about changing medications.

But you can still get Eliquis with assistance.

Rather stick with Eliquis? Then, there are still options for you. Let’s consider a few.

In certain cases, you may be able to get Eliquis for free.

For those of you who cannot afford Eliquis at all, you may be eligible for a patient assistance program (PAP).[12] This type of program is actually created by pharmaceutical companies. It’s designed to provide you with free or discounted medication so you can get the medication you need.

But it’s important to note that not all companies offer PAPs. And it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll be accepted into the program.

two hands holding each other

If you’re not eligible for that, Medicare can still cover Eliquis for you.

So, if a PAP doesn’t work, consider health coverage. 99% of either Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage can cover Eliquis.[13] If you can get the coverage, you should be able to afford Eliquis.

Of course, this depends on what coverage plan you have:

  • Deductible co-pay range: $42–$511
  • Typical co-pay range: $19–$511
  • Donut Hole co-pay range: $195–$511
  • Post-donut hole co-pay range: $7–$511

As you can see, not all prices are that desirable.

If neither assistance nor Medicare really help, we’re here for you.

As a certified pharmacy referral service, we want to make sure you get the medication you need. And we strive to make that happen in a simple, streamlined manner.

All you need to do is browse our website for the medication you need and show us your doctor's prescription note. While doing so, you could save up to 90% on your prescription.

In short, Eliquis doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are ways around the current expense of Eliquis! You just need to be aware of them. So take a look around for PAPs near you or Medicare assistance. Or to make your time even easier, just let us help you order Eliquis for some of the lowest prices possible!


What is Eliquis and what is it used for?

Eliquis is a blood thinner that’s commonly prescribed to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. [14]

Why is generic Eliquis not available in the U.S.?

Due to U.S. patent laws, the manufacturer of Eliquis (Bristol Myers Squibb) extended its patent for Eliquis until April 1, 2028. This means generic Eliquis cannot be sold in the U.S. until the patent expires. [15] Fortunately, you can still access generic Eliquis through an online Canadian pharmacy like RxConnected.

How much can a Canadian online pharmacy help me save on Eliquis?

A Canadian online pharmacy like RxConnected can help you save hundreds, even thousands, per year on Eliquis. Ordering Eliquis from Canada helps you save because getting your medication from across the border means you get access to its generic counterpart, apixaban.

Generic apixaban is much cheaper than brand-name Eliquis, yet both versions are therapeutically identical. Choosing an online Canadian pharmacy also means you do not have to pay monthly premiums and higher coverage gap costs like you do with Medicare.

How much more affordable is generic Eliquis?

You can save hundreds a month by ordering generic Eliquis (apixaban) from RxConnected. For example, you can get 180 tablets of apixaban 5 mg for $176, which works out to only 98 cents per pill. In comparison, Eliquis retails for around $581 for 60 pills without insurance, which will cost you almost $10 per pill.

Even compared to Eliquis with Medicare coverage, generic apixaban from an online Canadian pharmacy is still significantly more affordable. With Medicare’s monthly premiums and higher costs during the coverage gap, the best choice for affordable treatment remains generic Eliquis from RxConnected.

What will generic Eliquis cost monthly?

If you have been prescribed 5 mg of apixaban twice a day, your treatment will cost $78 per month. However, you can lower this cost by ordering a three-month supply of apixaban, which cuts your monthly cost down to $58.67.

If you require 2.5 mg of apixaban twice a day, you will be looking at $72 a month. Similarly, you can save by getting a three-month supply at $168, which lowers your monthly cost to $56.

Does Eliquis offer a patient assistance program?

Yes, the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSPAF) is a patient assistance program created by the manufacturers of Eliquis. This program offers financial assistance to eligible individuals. [16]

Is it safe to take Eliquis while pregnant?

The FDA does not recommend taking Eliquis while pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult with your physician if you’re planning on becoming pregnant. [14]

What if I miss a dose of Eliquis?

If you miss a dose of Eliquis, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule. [14]

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.