Why is Myrbetriq so Expensive?

The US has the highest average cost of healthcare at $12,900 per person. As of 2021, the cumulative spending towards healthcare tipped the $4.3 trillion mark and contributed 18% of the GDP from 5% in the 1960s.
With the high cost of healthcare, it shouldn’t be surprising to find prescription drugs like Myrbetriq to be expensive. Myrbetriq is a lifesaver for most patients. Consumers continually seek out this medication because it helps to treat overactive bladder, a condition that can be embarrassing.
But why should such an important medication be priced so highly? In this article, we’ll discuss in-depth why Myrbetriq is so expensive, how you can save on long-term Myrbetriq treatment, and whether there are cheaper alternatives to Myrbetriq.
But first…

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What is Myrbetriq?

Myrbetriq is a brand-name medication that belongs to the beta-3 adrenergic agonist class of medication. The active ingredient that makes Myrbetriq work effectively is Mirabegron. This drug is FDA-approved for the treatment of overactive bladder in adults and neurogenic detrusor overactivity in children aged 3 years and above. You can only get Myrbetriq if your doctor prescribes it for you, and it should be taken once daily, with or without food. The medication is available in the form of tablets or granules that can be taken orally as a suspension.

How Does Myrbetriq Work?

Nearly 1 out of 3 US adults aged 40 years and above suffer from an overactive bladder (OAB) at some point in their lifetime.
The symptoms of OAB include:

  • An increased urgency to urinate
  • Unintentional urine leakages after experiencing an urge to urinate. Also referred to as urgency incontinence.
  • Frequent bathroom visits, usually more than eight times a day.
  • Nocturia, whereby you wake up more than twice to urinate.

Myrbetriq works to prevent OAB by chemically binding with beta-3 receptors in the bladder. This causes the smooth muscles
surrounding your bladder to relax and increase your urine storage capacity, hence reducing your bathroom visits, urine leakages,
and the frequent urge to urinate.

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What’s the Dosage of Myrbetriq?

Myrbetriq dosage depends on its strengths and the intended purpose of treatment.
a. Strength of Myrbetriq Dosage
The strengths of the medication include the following;

a. The 25 mg once-a-day tablet

b. The 50 mg once-a-day tablet

c. The 8 mg/ml liquid suspension solution, whereby the Myrbetriq granules are pre-mixed with 100 ml of water to form this strength.

b. Purpose of Treatment

Myrbetriq dosage will vary depending on the condition you intend to treat. Some common treatments and their dosages include:
1. Dosage for Treating an Overactive Bladder
The dosage for treating an overactive bladder starts with a prescription of 25 mg tablet once a day. If there are no noticeable changes within a period of 4 to 8 weeks, your healthcare professional may bump up your daily dosage to a 50 mg tablet. The 50 mg tablet is the maximum dosage of Myrbetriq.
You may use Myrbetriq in combination with Vesicare, whose active ingredient is Solifenacin, to deliver an effective response when treating overactive bladder.
2. Dosage for Treating Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity in Pediatric Patients
Myrbetriq granules are the preferred form of medication in pediatric patients. However, pediatricians may prescribe Myrbetriq tablets to children above 35 kgs if they can swallow them with ease. Also, you can give Myrbetriq dosages to children depending on their weight class as outlined below;
  • 11kg to 22 kg- the starting dosage can be 3 ml (24 mg) suspension and a maximum of 6 ml (48 mg) once a day.
  • 22 kg to 35 kg- start dosing with a 4 ml (32 mg) suspension liquid and a maximum dose of 8 ml (64 mg) once a day.
  • Above 35kg- dose them with a 25 mg tablet or 6 ml suspension once a day. The maximum dosage is a 50 mg tablet or a 10 ml (80mg) suspension liquid.

Your doctor may increase Myrbetriq dosages after 4 to 8 weeks depending on how you or your children respond to the treatment. If the medication is safe for you and your child, it can be used on a long-term basis to achieve the desired effects.

Is Myrbetriq Expensive?

Myrbetriq is quite expensive, especially if you lack insurance. On average the 25 mg and 50 mg 30-day tablets can cost anywhere from $455 to $610. Most consumers are left to wonder whether to fend for their daily needs or get medication and prevent a leakage spill. Factors that affect the cost of Myrbetriq include the following;

How Much is Myrbetriq With Insurance?

If you have an insurance cover, you should consult with your insurance provider to know if they’ll cover the cost of the medication before you order the drug. Health insurance that cover Myrbetriq can reduce the cost of Myrbetriq by as much as 75%.
If your insurance does not cover the cost of Myrbetriq, you may be compelled to cover the full cost of the medication out of your pocket.

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The Cost of Myrbetriq with Medicare

Medicare prescription drug plans reduce the cost of Myrbetriq depending on your coverage stage as outlined below:
  • Deductible Stage- Here, you’ll pay the full cost of your medication. The copay range is $15 to $17.
  • Post-deductible Stage- In this stage, you’ll maintain a maximum copay of $17 and your Medicare plan will front the rest of the medication fees.
  • Donut Hole Stage- Here, your Medicare plan has a price ceiling that it will paying for and you’ll have to clear most of the remaining drug cost. The copay range is $7 to $8.
  • Post-Donut Hole Stage- The copay range is $7 to $10 and Medicare will cover most of your medication cost.

7 Reasons Why Myrbetriq Is Expensive

Many people, especially those fighting overactive bladder condition, are frustrated and confused by the skyrocketing price of Myrbetriq. The reasons behind its high cost are complex and multifaceted. Let’s get into details and explore the reasons behind the cost hike.
1. Patent Laws

Myrbetriq is shielded from competition by its exclusivity, which is protected by patents. Pharmaceutical corporations take advantage of this period to recover research expenses, leaving patients with less options and more expensive treatment.

2. Protracted FDA Approval Process
Generic versions must go through a lengthy FDA approval process even after patents expire. Despite the loss of patent protection, this delay enables the corporation to keep its prices high.
3. Lack of Price Regulation
The absence of pricing controls in the United States gives manufacturers the freedom to establish prices as they see fit. Both the brand-name and generic versions of Myrbetriq are affected by this lack of control.
4. Administrative Costs
As administrative costs increase, businesses are forced to keep their pricing high to retain profitability. These expenses, which medicine firms and suppliers cannot avoid, add to the overall cost.
5. Supply Chain Impact
Pharmacy benefit managers, among other supply chain components, have an impact on prescription prices. Even when businesses make an effort to reduce costs, their fees could still result in price increases for consumers.
6. Insurance Issues
Individual prices are impacted by variations in coverage among insurance policies. Some plans might not cover Myrbetriq, which would result in patients paying more out of their pockets.

7. Patient Demand

Myrbetriq improves patients’ quality of life, increasing their willingness to pay for its benefits. Companies take advantage of this demand by raising costs because they understand how much patients appreciate the drug’s beneficial effects on their lives.

How To Save on Myrbetriq

Saving money on Myrbetriq, or any prescription drug, might be essential given how expensive it is. Here are some strategies to consider if you wish to save on Myrbetriq:
1. Consult Your Physician
It is important to discuss your financial challenges and concerns with your doctor. They might be able to provide samples or an affordable alternative.
2. Look for Support Programs
The company that makes Myrbetriq or charitable institutions frequently offer support programs or patient support services. Through these programs, you may be able to obtain the drug for a lower price or occasionally even free.
3. Generic Alternatives
Despite Myrbetriq’s patent protection preventing generic alternatives from being widely distributed, it is important to ask your doctor or pharmacist whether there are any less expensive alternatives that have the same effects.
4. Insurer Coverage Review

To learn more about your insurer’s prescription coverage, get in touch with your insurance company. Some plans provide better coverage for particular prescriptions or can have preferred, less expensive alternatives.

5. Prescription Discount Cards
A wide range of websites and applications provide prescription discount cards that can significantly lower the price of Myrbetriq. Most pharmacies accept these cards, which can result in considerable discounts.
6. Mail-order Pharmacies
If you order your prescriptions through a mail-order pharmacy, certain insurance companies will give you a discount. To find out if you have access to this choice, check with your service provider.
7. Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)
Patient Assistance Programs are run by a number of pharmaceutical firms and nonprofit groups. These initiatives offer people who can’t afford medication free Myrbetriq or at a reduced price.
8. Price comparison
Prescription drug costs can differ significantly between pharmacies. To compare rates and choose the best cheap choice nearby, use online tools and applications.
9. Splitting Higher-Dose Pills
Sometimes, the price of a medication’s higher-dose pills is almost identical to that of its lower-dose ones. To receive twice the amount of Myrbetriq for the same price, find out from your doctor whether splitting your higher-dose Myrbetriq pills is okay.
10. Prescription Coupons

Check for prescription discounts offered by manufacturers or independent websites. Your out-of-pocket expenses can decrease immensely with these coupons.

Are There Cheaper Alternatives to Myrbetriq?

Absolutely, there are less expensive options to Myrbetriq. Generic drugs that contain mirabegron, which is the same active ingredient in Myrbetriq, are among these alternatives. Increased market competition and availability of generic versions that are not brand-name medications, ensures that available alternatives are always cheaper. It’s crucial to speak with your healthcare practitioner about appropriate and affordable options based on your unique medical needs and condition.
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Does a Generic Version of Myrbetriq Exist?

Myrbetriq is only marketed under its own brand name. Although a generic version has received FDA approval, exclusivity and drug
patents still prevent it from being made commercially. For the most recent information about generic substitutes, speak with your
healthcare professional.

Conclusion

Myrbetriq is quite expensive for most consumers. But knowing the factors that make Myrbetriq so expensive will help patients to look for less expensive options.
Although Myrbetriq generics have received FDA approval, their availability is frequently delayed by the interaction of patents, regulatory procedures, and market dynamics. As potential cost-cutting measures, patients should look into assistance programs, prescription discount cards, insurance reviews, and pill-splitting.
Staying updated about the changing landscape, consulting healthcare experts, and being aware of the options that are accessible remains the key to negotiating the complexities of prescription medicine expenses.

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