You just had that talk with your doctor: you need to lower your stroke risk. Your doctor wrote you a prescription for Apixaban, commonly called Eliquis, and you’re figuring out if a coupon for Eliquis is something you need.

Yes, it is: one 30-day round of Eliquis can cost nearly $500. And if you’re relying on your health insurance to cover the cost, the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act could make that price tag even higher.

Here are 5 ways a coupon for Eliquis can save you big money at the pharmacy.

1.) There’s No Generic for Eliquis

First things first: what’s the difference between a generic and brand-name drug?

Brand Name

In short, brand-name is where the big bucks lie for pharmaceutical companies.

A brand-name drug is the version of the medication first discovered by the pharmaceutical company. It’s also the version that first gets approved by the FDA and studied in the company’s clinical trials.

Once the FDA approves the drug, the company has exclusive rights to market and sell this version of the drug as long as it is patent-protected. This is when drug companies recover the money they spent developing and testing the drug.

Once patent protection expires, the drug is eligible to be remade into a “generic version”. Don’t get worried though: it’s still the same stuff.

To make a generic version, a generic company must ensure that they are using the same active ingredients at the same dosage concentration for the same prescription purposes. (A generic version of a blood pressure medication, for example, must also treat blood pressure.)

Generic drugs are popular (8 in 10 prescriptions filled are for generic drugs) because they typically cost 80-85% less than their brand-name counterparts.

Eliquis Cost-Benefit Analysis

As of now, there is no generic version of Eliquis available – which means if you need Eliquis, you can’t find a cheaper version that does the same thing.

This makes a coupon for Eliquis your best bet to make the drug affordable. The good news is there are a few ways to go about it.

2.) First 30 Days for Free

One option is a 30-day free trial offer provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Activating the coupon is simple. All you have to do is request a free trial from your doctor and activate the trial online. After that, it’s exactly what it says on the tin – 30 days of Eliquis at no cost to you.

The free trial is available to commercially insured and government-insured patients, as well as patients without insurance, but there are limitations – only one patient can be covered by the 30-day trial (you can only use the free trial offer once per patient per lifetime and the trial is non-transferable.)

You also have to be aware of when the trial is up – like many manufacturer discount programs, the price will go back up once the trial is over, at which point you’ll have to explore other options.

3.) Cut Down Your Co-Pay

Another coupon for Eliquis is available through the manufacturer: an Eliquis $10 co-pay card.

If you are commercially insured and your insurance leaves you with a co-pay requirement, or if your insurance doesn’t include prescription coverage, you could be eligible for a $10 co-pay card.

With a card, you’re able to have a co-pay of $10 for a 30-day supply for up to 24 months. As with the free trial, there are limits to the card you’ll have to be aware of.

For example, Eliquis is a medication that must be taken twice a day, so a 30-day supply would typically be 74 tablets. The first fill with the $10 co-pay card is up to 74 pills with up to 60 pills available for subsequent refills.

It also has a maximum annual benefit of $3,800. For everything after that, you’re on your own.

As with the 30-day trial, you’ll need to talk with your doctor about how long you’ll need to be on Eliquis. If your doctor anticipates that you may need Eliquis longer than 24 months, you’ll have to know when your $10 co-pay card expires and when you’ll have to find other options to make the medication affordable.

4.) Combine Discounts with Health Insurance

Notice how both of these manufacturer deals work hand-in-hand with health insurance?

Whether you’re insured by your job or covered by Medicaid or Medicare, many manufacturer deals, including the free trial and $10 co-pay card offered by Bristol-Myers Squibb, are designed to be used in combination with health insurance.

5.) Consider Long-Term Costs

Maybe you’re thinking: if there are limits to a coupon for Eliquis, wouldn’t it make more sense to find a generic of another drug that’s equally effective and costs less?

Not so fast.

While the advice, “seek generics,” is popular for a reason, there are reasons why brand-name drugs are worth it.

When Quality Trumps Cost

Generics are made by using the same active ingredient at the same dosage concentration. However, everything else in the pill – the inactive ingredients – are different. These can have a variety of effects which can change how effective the pill is for you.

For this reason, doctors may decide that a more expensive brand-name drug will be more effective based on individual situations, even though there are more cost-effective versions of a drug available.

There’s also the long-term cost of your health.

The goal of making any medication more effective is to help patients stay on prescribed medication. As your health improves, the idea is that you’ll rely on these medications less and less. In other words, investing in the drug your doctor thinks is most effective for you is a worthwhile investment in your long-term health.

Coupon for Eliquis with ePharmacies

The price of prescription drugs is expected to grow by 11.6% in 2017, more than four times the growth rate of wages. But you can’t afford to not take the medication you need. That’s where ePharmacies.com can help.

Our pharmacy directory will help you find high-quality, affordable medicine online before you walk into your local CVS. Our blog also helps patients stay healthy outside of their doctor’s prescriptions.

Your health doesn’t have to be expensive. If you need medical help, take a look at our available services today.