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Why Does Elmiron Cost So Much Money?

July 11, 2022

speciality medications

Elmiron Cost

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is painful, often misdiagnosed, and incredibly prevalent.

What’s worse: Effective IC treatments, such as Elmiron, cost more than most people can afford to pay.

Between 4 and 12 million Americans may suffer from this incurable disease, including up to 6% of all women in the United States.

Many factors contribute to interstitial cystitis, which often makes it difficult to nail down a precise cause. Some people may have a leak in the tissue lining their bladders. Others may experience the painful symptoms of interstitial cystitis because of an autoimmune or allergy reaction. Still others may trace their IC to IBS or fibromyalgia.

What all of these patients have in common are the frustrating and painful complications associated with IC. These can include disrupted sleep, reduced bladder capacity, intimacy problems, and chronic urinary or pelvic pain.

In addition to these side effects, the financial burden, including Elmiron costs, of interstitial cystitis can be exceedingly tough to handle.

In 2017, the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy reported that an IC diagnosis was associated with an average of over $7,000/year in health care and prescription costs.

Elmiron is a prescription medication that can make the lives of people with IC much easier.

Unfortunately, it’s also got an extremely high price tag.

Fortunately, NorthWestPharmacy.com can save you 79% on Elmiron and even more if you purchase the generic alternative.

Elmiron: Cost Details, What It Is, and How It Works

We’ll start with the good news.

Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is a type of mild blood thinner that can reduce the bladder pain that comes with interstitial cystitis.

That bladder pain occurs when a patient’s bladder surface gets thin, damaged, or leaky.

Usually, the surface of the bladder is covered with mucus rich in glycosaminoglycans (complex sugar structures help with normal cell function). This protective mucus layer protects the bladder wall from bacteria or any of the harsh substances in urine.

Without it, the bladder’s surface can get very irritated, very quickly.

Elmiron may function as a synthetic mucus layer, providing a similar function when a patient does not naturally produce that protection on their own. It’s not precisely known how it does so, but Elmiron does seem to help shield the bladder wall from irritation and any resultant leaks and pain.

Does Elmiron Really Work?

In 1996, Elmiron was approved for patients with interstitial cystitis. To achieve that approval, Elmiron’s manufacturers put the drug through two clinical trials, testing standard use of the drug in thousands of trial participants who suffered from IC.

Many of the patients who completed the trials experienced relief from their symptoms.

(In one of the trials, an open-label physician's use study, 61% of patients who completed the trial experienced pain relief after three months of using Elmiron.)

A study that came out in the medical journal Urology around the same time called Elmiron an “efficacious long-term treatment for reducing a constellation of debilitating symptoms” related to interstitial cystitis.

Anecdotally, patients who use Elmiron seem to like the results. Some refer to it as a miracle drug. Others describe the experience of going on Elmiron as a “switch going off” for their pain. There are IC patients, however, that report Elmiron didn’t do much for them.

Elmiron has also been connected to serious vision problems occurring in some patients. If you’re considering taking Elmiron, it’s best to speak with your doctor about the side effects and your specific needs before considering whether Elmiron might work for you.

Elmiron Cost

The Side Effects of Elmiron

Elmiron can cause a range of side effects, including:

  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Mild rashes
  • Vision problems
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Vision issues
  • Liver issues

Doctors will likely want to keep a patient under close watch in the first few months of using Elmiron. This will help ensure that a patient is not experiencing any severe side effects or reduced liver function.

What’s a Typical Elmiron Treatment Schedule?

In most cases, IC patients take 100 milligrams of Elmiron three times per day. It’s recommended that patients take their Elmiron with water on an empty stomach, approximately an hour prior to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After initiating this treatment plan, most patients will experience relief from their symptoms within 3-6 months.

Others may report that the drug is working for them in as little as 3-4 weeks.

To get those results, patients usually stick to a relatively high dosage frequency. Unfortunately, taking a drug three times per day requires a lot of that drug – which, because of Elmiron’s high cost, can make this therapy inaccessible for many.

How Much Does Elmiron Cost?

Elmiron is a very expensive drug. In the United States, a pack of 90 100mg capsules can retail for nearly $1,075.00 (or about $11.90 per capsule).

At three capsules per day, that four-figure price will only cover one month of treatment.

And, worse, at a staggering cost of nearly $13,000 per year in medication alone, that places the cost of treating interstitial cystitis with Elmiron even higher than previously projected costs of living with the disease.

Although insured Americans may hope that their coverage will assist them at the pharmacy counter, that may not always be the case. Many insurance companies are ceasing coverage of Elmiron. Others are charging inflated co-pays to cover the high retail cost of the drug.

It’s clear that Americans suffering from interstitial cystitis need a more reliable low-cost way to buy Elmiron.

International and online Canadian pharmacies may be the answer they’re looking for.

How to Find a Reduced Elmiron Cost

International online pharmacies are often able to provide cheaper prescription medications.

There are several reasons why this may be the case:

  • International online pharmacies are often able to source medication from all over the globe
  • International online pharmacies don’t work with insurance companies, which allows them to save time and money
  • International online pharmacies may not have a brick-and-mortar presence, which can reduce their overhead

In all of those cases, online pharmacies like NorthWestPharmacy.com can save significant amounts of money through streamlined processes.

We pass those savings on to you.

Our strategy for Elmiron costs is no different. We sell 100-milligram capsules in packs of 100 (or just over a one-month supply) for just $246. This comes out to just under $2.50 per capsule.

When compared to the retail price of $11.90 per capsule, that’s a 79% savings.

Over the course of a year of treatment, comparing the average cost of Elmiron at $12,900 versus under $2,700 at NorthWestPharmacy.com—savings of more than $10,000! It’s a no-brainer to purchase Elmiron from a trusted online Canadian pharmacy like ours.

Elmiron Cost

Is There a Generic for Elmiron?

We also sell generic pentosan polysulfate sodium. Here, you can buy this generic medication in packs of 90 capsules for $195.00, or approximately $2.15, for even steeper savings.

The generic medication does contain the same active ingredient as brand-name Elmiron but will differ in small but significant ways.

For example, generic formulations of pentosan polysulfate sodium may have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name formula.

If your doctor has prescribed Elmiron for your IC, be sure to speak with them as you investigate whether a generic medication might be an appropriate substitute for you.

Why is Elmiron’s Cost So Expensive?

While Elmiron is effective and relatively new (for the pharmaceutical world), its high price tag comes down to one thing: Its uniqueness.

Elmiron is the only oral prescription medication approved specifically for the treatment of interstitial cystitis.

However, that isn’t the only reason why a prescription medication might be out of your healthcare budget.

All Prescription Drugs Are Only Getting More Expensive

Prescription medication costs are skyrocketing. And, unfortunately, it’s likely going to get worse before it gets better. Why?

  • Inflation. Increasing inflation rates are affecting all markets, including the prescription drug industry. This may result in higher retail prices for drugs.
  • Supply and demand. The basic laws of economics tell us that when a valuable commodity (such as an effective, unique prescription medication) is in short supply, its price will skyrocket.
  • The “everything” shortage. No industry has fully bounced back from 2020’s lockdowns and closures. The pharmaceutical supply chain, from factories through distribution warehouses and pharmacies themselves, is still experiencing widespread shortages. These go beyond materials shortages and affect labor availability, as well.
  • Rising insurance rates. US insurance companies rarely have the consumer’s best interests in mind. Not only are many insurance companies boosting their premiums, some insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers even charge insurance members inflated co-pays while pocketing the difference.

Here, international pharmacies may be able to provide an alternative solution.

We are able to provide both generic and brand-name drugs for similarly low prices.

We also offer an increasing range of both prescription and non-prescription drugs, should your doctor advise an anti-inflammatory OTC drug or another strategy to help you work towards relief.

Elmiron Cost

How Does Elmiron’s Cost Compare to Other Bladder Drugs?

Phenazopyridine is a prescription drug doctors sometimes recommend for urinary tract irritation – not interstitial cystitis, but a similar (and different) issue. This drug can help reduce a burning or irritating sensation in a patient’s urinary tract. While this medication is cheap and widely available, it will typically not provide ongoing relief for interstitial cystitis.

It can sometimes reduce urinary pain, but it likely won’t help your inflamed, irritated bladder wall.

Some patients have also seen success with tricyclic antidepressants but using those prescription drugs to calm IC would be considered an off-label use. Speak with your doctor before pursuing that type of strategy.

Outside of prescription medications, patients sometimes use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) to help reduce irritation and pain. Antihistamines (such as Claritin) may help reduce urinary frequency and urgency. Again, even though these are available over-the-counter, you should consult a physician before using these products.

Buying Drugs from Canada? Here’s Exactly How You Can Save on Elmiron Costs

When you’re looking for ways to drive your Elmiron cost down, thinking outside of America’s borders can be wildly helpful.

That’s why our international drugstore and online Canadian pharmacy exists: To help relieve burdens such as Elmiron’s costs.

We’re passionate about connecting Americans and others with low-cost, safe, reliable prescription medications. However, we understand that you might be leery of sourcing your medication from an online pharmacy.

We get it. You may have heard about international pharmacies engaging in unsafe practices. You likely wish to avoid any type of Internet scam.

Your health, safety, and peace of mind are very important to us. We do everything we can to make purchasing your medication online as safe and easy as possible.

Want to make extra sure you’re working with an online pharmacy you can trust? Here are three quick action items to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure you’re working with an online international pharmacy with meaningful accreditations. The endorsement of a recognized third party lends validity to online pharmacies. In Canada and internationally, two of the most well-known pharmacy associations are the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC). These groups have extremely high safety standards that all of their certified pharmacies must follow. NorthWestPharmacy.com adheres to all of these standards.
  2. Reach out to the customer service desk to see if you get a helpful, accurate response. Staffing a service desk with qualified, friendly individuals can be tough (and expensive). Some online pharmacies and other businesses don’t bother, but we make it a priority. We know that when you have a question about your prescription or require assistance through the ordering process, you need to talk to a pharmacist or a service representative. Here, we make it easy for you to get the support you need.
  3. Triple-check to see whether your prospective pharmacy requires valid prescriptions. Not only is a prescription requirement essential for your safety, but it’s also something that can separate a high-quality, reputable online pharmacy from businesses that have less stellar reputations. Before you order anything from your online pharmacy, it should require that you upload a valid prescription issued by a licensed doctor.

NorthWestPharmacy.com is proud to be able to offer quick, accessible ordering processes. At our online Canadian pharmacy and international drugstore, you can learn more about your prescription medications, comparison shop to find the best possible deal, and benefit from secure, private transactions.

Our relentless commitment to positive customer experiences is reflected in our consistently high ratings. We’re pleased to have a 4.8/5 star rating based on hundreds of thousands of verified customer reviews.

Interested in seeing firsthand how easy it can be to save big on your prescription medications? Connect with a member of our team today by calling us at 1-866-539-5330, or start your order online. We can’t wait to assist you!

The information provided on the NorthWestPharmacy.com website is intended to facilitate awareness about healthcare products and medical conditions generally but it is not a substitute for professional medical attention or advice. You should always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any prescription or non-prescription drug.
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