Patients on the popular medication Eliquis have had questions.
- Is there a generic version of Eliquis (apixaban)?
- When will apixaban be available?
- Can I lower my cost of taking Eliquis?
This article will show a pathway to buying the generic alternative to Eliquis. A way to lower a family’s healthcare expense, for those that are self paying for Eliquis (apixaban) or for those who have insurance but their copay (non-covered portion) is too high.
The high cost of certain medications has strained the pocketbooks of many families. At one time, this problem affected mainly the poor, but increasingly in the last two decades, the cost of prescription medications has also put a strain on the finances of the middle class as well. In particular, older citizens and retirees can lose a fair chunk of the nest egg they saved for their golden years by paying out of pocket for certain widely prescribed medications, like Eliquis (generic Apixaban).
What is Eliquis Used For?
Eliquis has been a blockbuster medication in the United States since 2012, when the FDA approved it for patients with atrial fibrillation (a-fib) that is not caused by heart valve problems. Eliquis is also used for those with an increased risk for DVT (deep vein thrombosis). DVT is a blot clot, that is in a deep vein in the leg or pelvis, or less frequently in the arm. Pulmonary Embolism (PE) occurs when a portion of the blood clot breaks off and can travel to the lungs, creating an extremely serious health risk. A pulmonary embolism (PE) is life-threatening. Eliquis is a novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) which is a new class of anticoagulants designed to prevent clots.
People who are scheduled for knee replacement surgery are often prescribed Eliquis or another blood thinner post surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.
Direct-Acting Oral Anticoagulants (DOAC)
Eliquis (generic Abixaban) is one of the prescription drugs referred to as direct-acting oral anticoagulant, or a DOAC, for short. In layman’s terms, it is a blood thinner (to reduce the risk of blood clotting). Healthcare providers prescribe it in an effort to prevent blood clots. It greatly decreases the risk of harmful blood clots. It’s considered similar to warfarin, but it has gained much popularity with both patients and healthcare providers because it does not require the onerous blood test regimen that comes with warfarin. Both medications can result in unusual bleeding, but it is less common with Eliquis. Those who took Eliquis (Apixaban) had fewer bleeding episodes.
The side effect of older blood thinner medications, such as warfarin, is that it can cause unexpected bleeding. A benefit of Eliquis is that its anticoagulant effect is more reliable. Unlike warfarin, Eliquis is in the DOAC category of blood thinners. This means that the anticoagulant works quite rapidly, both for taking the medication and for stopping the medication.
While taking Eliquis, a patient should be carefully counseled about the risks of taking not adhering to their medication regimen and the risks of missing a dose.
Is there a Generic Equivalent of Eliquis Available for Purchase?
For those taking Eliquis, there is good news on the horizon. Well, to clarify, there is good news, bad news, followed by good news again. First, the good news is that the FDA approved apixaban (the generic alternative to Eliquis) in the United States in December 2019. But, the bad news is that a patent dispute means that it may not be available in the United States until 2026.
Now, as promised, let’s circle back to the good news again. Apixaban (the generic equivalent of Eliquis), has been available for purchase in Canada since the summer of 2022, and its extremely competitive pricing means it is flying off the shelves.
The generic alternative of Eliquis has been well received by Canadians. Also, many Americans who had already been sourcing their Eliquis through an online pharmacy grasped the opportunity to further save money by switching to apixaban if their prescription was written by their health care professionals to allow for a generic drug substitution.
And the Answer to the Generic Eliquis Question is
So to answer the question of whether the generic alternative to Eliquis if available is “No and Yes”.
“No” generic Eliquis is not available in the United States because, although the FDA has recently approved the first generics for the popular blood thinner medication Eliquis, the sale of this medication is significantly delayed, perhaps for as much as another three years. However; this is still welcome news for many patients and healthcare providers significant financial burden for some as it will eventually be available.
And “Yes” the generic alternative to Eliquis is available for purchase in Canada. It is currently on the shelves for very reasonable prices. And for even better news, you don’t have to drive to Canada (although we’d love to have you). Just visit a CIPA certified online pharmacy to have the medication mailed to you. The generic version of Eliquis, known as apixaban, provides a more affordable alternative for those who need to take the medication
Are Medications from Canada Safe?
In Canada, the health regulatory body is known as Health Canada. Health Canada plays a
similar role to the FDA, but is Canada’s regulatory health authority. Health Canada has very rigorous drug safety standards. Health Canada has approved apixaban, the generic equivalent to Eliquis, to be sold by Sandoz Canada Inc., Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Canada), Apotex Inc. and other generic companies in Canada.
Eliquis (generic Apixaban) from Canada
So why is this news of the availability of apixaban from Canada so important? Well, it’s because DOAC blood thinners are a key treatment in reducing the risk of strokes and blood clots and many Americans are looking for a lower cost alternative to purchasing the brand.
How does it benefit Americans if the generic alternative of Eliquis is available in Canada? Well, Americans use a Canadian International Pharmacy Associations (CIPA) certified website such as CanDrugstore.com to purchase their medications and have them conveniently shipped to their doorstep.
How Much Does Generic Eliquis (the Generic Equivalent to Eliquis) Cost?
At this point, you may be wondering how much it costs to buy Eliquis from Canada. Eliquis can be purchased from Canada in brand, but the generic alternative, Apixaban is also available. To buy apixaban, the generic alternative to Eliquis, the price in Canada at CanDrugstore.com as of February 2023 is $169.95 USD, for 180 tablets of 5mg. The 2.5 mg dosage is also available in generic form for $148.95 USD for 180 tablets.
What is a Generic Medication?
The Eliquis generic name is apixaban. When a drug is first discovered through research and development by scientists and researchers, it is given a chemical name. This chemical name is generally very technical and virtually never used by the general public. Once the drug gets further along in development, the chemical name is generally shortened, but again, it’s still too complex and not memorable.
When the drug gets approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is given an official or generic name. At the same time as the official generic name is assigned, so is the brand name. In the case of Eliquis (brand name), the official or generic name “apixaban”, was assigned. When the drug’s patent expires, and other companies can manufacture the drug, it will generally only be known by its generic name.
What is the Difference between Eliquis and its Generic Alternative, Apixaban?
What’s the difference between a brand and a generic drug? To make it simple, a generic medication has the exact same active ingredients as the brand name. The main differences between a brand name to a generic medication are the color, shape, flavoring, and preservatives.
Brand companies can often make the shape and color proprietary, to increase the loyalty and comfort with the brand; consider a well-known acid reflux medication known as the purple pill. So strong is the branding for this color that AstraZeneca even has a website called “purplepill.com”.
The flavoring and preservations are a very small part of the ingredients, so it is only in very rare circumstances that they have any impact on the patient. The other major difference between the brand Eliquis and its generic equivalent, apixaban, is price. The generic form of Eliquis, Apixaban, is just a small fraction of the cost.
If Eliquis is a Fairly New Class of Drugs, What Blood Thinner was Used Before it?
Before there was Eliquis (generic Abixapan), there was Coumadin (generic warfarin). For many decades, warfarin, the generic alternative to Coumadin, was a “go-to” medication prescribed by healthcare providers for A-Fib and DVT. This medication is very cost-effective given its long-term use, and is very readily available.
Warfarin had been approved by the FDA for use by humans in the 1950’s. Although warfarin has been on the market for a long time and is very, very affordably priced in both the United States and Canada, it comes with some inconvenient parameters.
Warfarin Takes a Back Seat To Eliquis (apixaban)
Patients on warfarin have cited the disruption in their lives by the frequent trips to the lab to check their INR (or international normalized ratio). In a nutshell, the lab will do a prothrombin time (PT) test to determine how long it takes for a blood clot to form in the sample provided. The INR is a type of measurement that is used for the PT test.
Despite its popularity and decades of use, warfarin had a mixed reputation and was often referred to as rat poison. This was not an old wives’ tale or a nasty rumor, it was truly used as a rodent killer in the late 1940s.
Despite this moniker, many patients remain on warfarin today, for many reasons, but particularly because it works for them. In particular, they tolerate it well, have little side effects, and they often cannot afford the novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC’s), which include Eliquis, to lower the risk of thrombotic events.
Why The Preference for Eliquis over older Anticoagulants
The issue for many other patients was that warfarin wasn’t tolerated as well. For some patients, once they had their usual jab to draw blood, their healthcare provider would review their results, and sometimes their dosage needed to be adjusted to bring the patient back into the target range.
Many patients on warfarin felt like their lives were full of health uncertainty, and they were on a medication roller coaster. The new class of blood thinners, NOAC’s (which includes Eliquis), that did not require onerous blood testing, brought considerable comfort to many patients.
Today, Eliquis (generic abixaban) (as well as other NOAC’s) is recommended over warfarin in medical treatment guidelines for patients with a-fib because as it doesn’t require as frequent blood testing and also it doesn’t have as many drug interactions with other medications.
People who took warfarin had more instances of unusual bruising and bleeding problems, more often than the new classes of drugs.
Although Eliquis has been very popular in the United States, with many patients enjoying its advantages, it comes with a very high price tag.
How to Find a Legitimate Canadian Pharmacy to Buy Eliquis (Apixaban)
The Canadian International Pharmacy Association is the association that oversees legitimate Canadian mail order pharmacies. The association is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. CIPA has been a leader in setting safety standards that its members must adhere to. CanDrugstore.com has proudly been an active member of CIPA for 18 years.
CanDrugstore.com, is a Trusted CIPA Certified Source for Mail Order Medications
At CanDrugstore.com we aim to provide you with up-to-date pharmaceutical news. We have been safely providing OTC and prescription medications online for almost twenty years. Please call CanDrugstore.com at 1-866-444-6376 or contact us through our website or online chat. We look forward to serving you!
The information on CanDrugstore.com is for awareness purposes only. It is intended for site visitors to be more empowered in their own healthcare. Information here should NOT be considered medical advice or to any way replace the advice of a qualified medical healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before taking Eliquis or any medications, whether over the counter (OTC) or prescription. Always read your medication guide and seek immediate medical attention if you have a concern about your health.
Singlecare.com Eliquis vs. Warfarin: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you By Karen Berger, Pharm D