Brand-name epilepsy medicine prices skyrocket between 2010 and 2018

30 Jun 2022

The cost of brand-name epilepsy medicines has increased more than two-and-a-half times between 2010 and 2018, according to a new US study from the journal Neurology.

Researchers Samuel Terman and colleagues set out to better understand the trends in epilepsy medicine prescriptions and costs from 2008-2018. The team looked at a sample of people in the US health insurance programme Medicare.

There were between 77,000 and 133,000 people with epilepsy included a year. In 2008, phenytoin was the most common epilepsy medicine prescribed. This changed to levetiracetam in 2018. Brand name medicines, older medicines, and those that stimulate the production of proteins called enzymes, all reduced over the time period.

The researchers found that in 2018, brand name epilepsy medicines accounted for nearly four fifths (79%) of the cost of epilepsy medicines, but less than one fifth (14%) of prescriptions.

The cost of brand-name epilepsy medicines increased more than two-and-a-half times (277%) from 2010 to 2018, while generic epilepsy medicine reduced in price by two-fifths (42%) in that time.

The study authors found that many common brand-name epilepsy medicines cost 10 times more than the generic versions. The study authors said previous studies have shown that medicines are the most expensive part of neurology care. They added that epilepsy medicines were the second most expensive medicines prescribed by neurologists.

The study is available on the Neurology journal website.


You may also be interested in...

Sulthiame reduces seizures in myoclonic atonic epilepsy, study finds

Add-on use of the medicine sulthiame may reduce seizures in children with myoclonic atonic epilepsy, according to a new study from Argentina.

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment...

Question about your epilepsy?

Your question will be sent to our helpline advisors.

Have a comment about this page?

All comments are reviewed by a moderator before publishing. Comments will be edited or deleted if they are offensive, libellous, slanderous, abusive, commercial or irrelevant.

We ask for your email when you make a comment through this website. This means that we can let you know directly that we have replied to you. By making a comment through the website, you allow us to use the comment in our publicity without using your name. If we would like to use your name, we will email you to get your permission.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
7 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.