Why is Multaq So Expensive? What Multaq's Used for + Savings
high drug prices
Multaq, a brand heart health medication, is used to treat heart arrhythmias. It can provide significant peace of mind and pain reduction for people who are puzzling out or treating chronic health conditions.
Unfortunately, it’s not exactly accessible. In the United States, patients may pay as much as $440.00 for a 30-tablet supply of the medication.
Why is Multaq so expensive? (And is there a way you can reduce Multaq’s cost for yourself or a loved one?)
Today, we’ll go over some of the reasons why this heart med is so costly—and go over a few ways you could save up to 70% on this effective, popular medication.
What Is Multaq Used For? Understanding Why People Prefer Multaq
Before we talk about Multaq’s cost, let's understand what Multaq is and its role in healthcare.
Multaq was first developed as an antiarrhythmic medication. It’s relatively new on the scene compared to other well-known heart medications; it was approved for use in 2009.
That 2009 approval, recent though it may be, marked a significant milestone for patients who were managing atrial fibrillation (AFib) or atrial flutter (AFL). Previously, there wasn’t really a go-to, effective, safe treatment option for these conditions.
Today, physicians primarily prescribe Multaq for:
- Managing AFib or AFL for patients, if they’ve experienced either condition in the past and are now in a normal heart rhythm
- Preventing the recurrence of AFib and AFL
- Reducing the necessity of hospitalization for people suffering AFib and AF
If you caught the key condition mentioned above—that Multaq will be helpful for patients who are now in a normal heart rhythm—good.
That condition exists because of the way Multaq works.
Multaq helps the human body maintain a normal heart rhythm. It blocks the type of cardiac electrical signals that may result in an irregular heartbeat. By doing so, Multaq can prevent the recurrence of patients who tend to experience abnormal heart rhythms often; e.g., patients who are managing AFib or AFL.
But, importantly, that does mean that if you are currently experiencing an irregular heart rhythm, Multaq will not help you get back to normal. (If you’re in that position, see your doctor right away, or consider calling for emergency assistance.)
How Does Multaq Compare to Other Heart Medications?
There are other heart medications that can help AFib and AFL patients, of course. Let’s take a quick look at how Multaq stacks up to the competition:
Multaq vs. Amiodarone: Both of these medications are used to treat AFib, but, often, people prefer Multaq to amiodarone because Multaq has a lower risk of severe side effects. (We’ll touch more on Multaq side effects in a moment.)
This can make Multaq a safer option than amiodarone for long-term use.
Multaq vs. Sotalol: In some cases, sotalol can increase the risk of proarrhythmia for some patients. Proarrhythmia refers to the creation of new arrhythmias.
That doesn’t happen for everyone, but, if that’s something that you are worried about, Multaq can be a safer option.
Multaq vs. Propafenone: Propafenone carries a low but real risk of causing cardiac complications. Multaq is less likely to cause the same outcome, making it a preferred medication for patients with structural heart disease.
In addition, when compared to other antiarrhythmic drugs as a group, Multaq has been shown to reduce hospitalization rates.
What About Multaq’s Side Effects?
As safe as Multaq generally is for most people, it’s not without its risks and known side effects.
If you or a loved one is starting treatment with Multaq, you should know about the following potential complications:
- Potential GI issues, ranging from abdominal pain to diarrhea and vomiting.
- Skin reactions, including rashes and itching.
- Weakness and fatigue.
- Liver function changes.
- (Rare) lung problems, including inflammation.
- Cardiac side effects, including, sometimes, worsening arrhythmias or causing new ones.
- Electrolyte imbalances, which can impact muscle and heart function.
In some cases, Multaq can also cause severe side effects. These can range from liver failure to severe lung disease and worsened arrhythmias. If you experience any severe side effects while taking Multaq, talk to your healthcare provider and mention your concerns.
Another side effect is the high cost many Americans pay when buying Multaq.
The High Cost of Multaq: Why is Multaq So Expensive?
For a drug that’s safer than its alternatives and potentially life-changing in terms of care, Multaq is egregiously expensive. Many American patients cannot afford to pay nearly $450.00 per month to access its benefits.
So why does Multaq’s manufacturer price Multaq so high?
There are a few reasons behind eye-wateringly high American drug prices. The most common are the following.
Research and Development Costs
Developing a new drug takes a lot of time, experience, materials, and money.
To get a new drug from being an idea to a safe, marketable product, manufacturers need to put their drug through a series of clinical trials. These clinical trials are extensive, expansive, multi-phase operations that can take several years (each).
At the same time, as the manufacturer is managing the costly and time-consuming clinical trial and drug approval process, the manufacturer must also invest in ongoing research in improving the drug and making sure it meets evolving safety standards.
The manufacturer will sink considerable funds into accomplishing these goals.
Then, to make sure it still turns a profit, it’ll price the drug high to pass those costs onto the consumer—you.
Market Exclusivity and Patent Laws
The business world of pharmaceuticals can be overwhelming, but understanding a little bit about patents can shed some light on high prescription medication prices.
When Multaq was first developed, the manufacturer applied for a patent on it. A patent is a legal tool that gives Sanofi-Aventis, as the manufacturer and patent applicant, exclusive rights to sell Multaq. Essentially, this forms a temporary monopoly.
As long as the patent is in place, no one else can sell brand Multaq—and no one else can make generic Multaq, either.
This patent system allows the manufacturer to recoup their investment in the drug.
However, the system may also allow the manufacturer to profit long after that initial investment has long since been recovered.
And, as there is zero competition for the drug until the patent expires, the manufacturer can set their prices as high as they’d like. Since, in America, the government does not step in to cap pharmaceutical prices, manufacturers often choose to price their drugs quite high to maximize their profit margins.
As we mentioned earlier, Multaq is a relatively new drug. Its patent isn’t set to expire anytime soon.
When it does, generic drug manufacturers will be able to create and distribute approved generic alternatives, typically at a significantly lower price.
That may take a while. If you or a loved one is in need of lower-cost Multaq, it may not be worthwhile to wait until there’s a widely available generic alternative in the United States.
Manufacturing and Regulatory Expenses
The third big factor leading to Multaq’s high price comes down to production costs.
Producing Multaq isn’t simple. To do it well, it requires precise processes and sophisticated tech—neither of which are cheap. They’re also not one-off start-up costs. Maintaining the equipment and purchasing materials are considerable ongoing investments.
The manufacturer must also ensure that Multaq adheres to strict regulator health and safety standards. This isn’t an easy approval to get. Meeting these standards requires rigorous testing and continuous quality control. To oversee all of this, the manufacturer needs teams of highly-skilled personnel to make sure that its product is flawless and safe.
Between these factors, it’s clear that the high cost of Multaq is here to stay—at least until its patent expires.
For patients and healthcare providers, in an odd way, this can be confidence-inducing. Multaq is expensive because a lot of time and resources go into making sure it’s effective, safe, and comes with a relatively short list of unwanted side effects.
Of course, the downside is clear and significant. Multaq’s high cost poses obvious affordability challenges. And even though understanding the factors that go into high Multaq costs may help with perspective, it doesn’t magically make the drug more affordable.
If you’re looking for practical ways to save, fortunately, we do have some tips to share.
Taking a More Global Perspective on High Multaq Costs
One of the most significant steps you can take to enjoy high savings on Multaq and other heart health medications is to stop limiting yourself to the United States.
If we zoom out to a larger sample size of countries and their medication prices, you may start to notice an intriguing pattern. For example, if we compare Multaq costs in Canada and the USA, you might be surprised to see just how much you could save.
Multaq Cost in Canada vs. the USA
In the United States, patients can expect to spend around $440.00 for a 30-tablet supply of Multaq. Since, generally, patients need to take Multaq twice per day, that 30-tablet supply is only going to last about two weeks—and your monthly cost for Multaq in the States is going to be well over $800.00.
Why Is Multaq Cheaper in Canada?
There are a couple of key reasons Multaq’s cost might be lower in Canada than it is stateside.
- For one thing, the United States and Canada have fundamentally different healthcare systems. Canada’s approach tends to be a little more regulated, with caps on drug pricing, which generally results in lower pharmaceutical prices. In the United States, in addition to the factors affecting pricing that we have described above, drug makers tack on exorbitant amounts as profit too.
- In the USA, medication pricing is heavily influenced by insurance. In fact, prices are often set or changed after significant negotiations between pharmaceutical companies and insurance providers—neither of which tends to have consumer savings as a top-tier priority.
Fortunately, by buying your Multaq through an international and Canadian internet pharmacy website, you can enjoy steep savings and convenient perks like medication shipped directly to your front door.
Want more tips for saving big on Multaq or other international or Canadian drugs online? We’re here to help.
Your Guide to Saving Up to 70% on Multaq
Figuring out how you or a loved one is going to afford Multaq can be a headache. There are a few different strategies you can employ to save. Our #1 tip is to find a reliable, safe Canadian pharmacy or international drugstore—but, in addition to that, you can consider the following options.
Insurance and Multaq: What You Need to Know
If you currently have insurance in the United States, you may be able to access a slightly more affordable Multaq cost. But it may not be that simple.
- You’ll need to make sure that your current plan covers Multaq.
- You’ll need to know what costs you’ll be responsible for after your insurance coverage.
- You’ll need to be aware that your insurer could decide to drop Multaq coverage (or raise your prices for it) at any time. (This is unfortunately common for higher-priced meds.)
- You’ll need to have a backup plan just in case you lose your healthcare coverage, which is also, unfortunately, common in America where insurance is tied to employment.
While insurance can help, for many, it’s not the end-all solution it seems. Finding an online pharmacy with reliably low prices can help you save regardless of your coverage status.
Assistance Programs and Discounts
You may be able to find assistance programs for Multaq. These programs may connect you with options for purchasing Multaq at a lower cost, for a specified period of time.
The major downside of these programs is that they are relatively hard to get into. Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in this option. Your doctor may be aware of programs that you could qualify for, and will help you review eligibility criteria to see if you are a good candidate for this type of assistance.
Seeking Reliable Ways to Reduce Multaq Costs? Start Here
Once you have a valid, updated prescription for Multaq, turn to NorthWestPharmacy.com to find reliably low costs on the brand-name medication you seek. You can buy Multaq here for up to 70% off in just a few clicks.
Interested in learning more about what we offer, or want to chat with a member of our friendly, responsive customer service team? Give us a call at 1.866.539.5330, or contact us by sending us an email. We look forward to supporting you and your health journey.