June 16, 2022

Cost of Brand-Name Epilepsy Drugs Nearly Triples in 8 Years, Study Says

Article published by UPI

Amid the challenges already faced by people with epilepsy, a new study reports another: steadily rising costs for brand-name anti-seizure medications, partly spurred by increased prescriptions for the drug lacosamide. Researchers found the cost of a one-year’s pill supply of brand-name epilepsy drugs skyrocketed by 277% from 2010 to 2018 — from roughly $2,800 a year between 2008 and 2010 to about $10,700 a year by 2018.

By contrast, the cost of a one-year’s pill supply of generic drugs for epilepsy decreased by 42% over the same period, says the study published in Wednesday’s online edition of Neurology, the journal of the American Neurology Association.

According to the study, brand-name drugs represented 79% of epilepsy drug costs, even though they comprised only 14% of prescriptions.

“Even if the patient doesn’t see a high cost if a brand-name medication is covered by insurance, huge brand-name costs still contribute to high U.S. healthcare expenditures,”” Terman said.

Doctors and patients need to be aware of how massively increased costs are for brand-name medications compared with generic equivalents. Dr. Samuel Waller Terman, the study’s lead investigator, told UPI.