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Advicor: Is There a Less Expensive (Low Cost) Substitute Prescription to Prevent High Cholesterol Levels?

Updated on February 21, 2017
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John has 2 reasons 4 authority. Has dyshidrosis, and as corpsman in the Navy saw lot; health summaries and frugal answers. Experience saves.

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Meds and Frugal Living

Advicor: Could There be a Less Expensive Alternative?

Years ago I had a problem many of us experience. My blood work showed that I had too high of a bad cholesterol count, and too low of a good cholesterol count. My physician tried several anti-cholesterol drugs which I did not respond well to (they didn't do the job with each cholesterol).

The physician decided to prescribe Advicor. The drug improved both of my blood levels of cholesterol, and I was pretty happy with the results. There was only one problem. Advicor is a brand name drug and it had a copay of $40 with the insurance I had. Now that doesn't sound too bad, and in reality if it is the only thing that will work for you, then it is money well spent. However, after reading about the drug on the internet I discovered something interesting.

Advicor is made up of two other drugs. It contains Lovastatin which lowers bad cholesterol, and flush free niacin which raises good cholesterol. I decided to discuss the drug with my pharmacist who works at a large chain drugstore and has been very helpful to me in the past.

My pharmacist verified that the two drugs were what made up Advicor. So I decided to go to the doctor and see if I could be prescribed Lovastatin (it costs only $4 for a month's supply) and Niacin (60 count 500 mg over the counter flush free Niacin) costing $6.00. Of course, how much you spend depends on dosing.

The doctor agreed to prescribe the medicine as I requested, first starting with one 20mg tablet of Lovastatin and one 500 mg capsule of niacin. After one month, I went to a lab to have my levels checked. It turned out that the levels recommended had not yet been attained. So my doctor prescribed two tablets of Lovastatin and 1000mg of flush free niacin. One month later I had my levels checked and with great results. My bad cholesterol had dropped from 265 to 164, and my good cholesterol had risen to within 1 pt of the recommended level.

For those of you interested in the lab procedure, you will have to have your levels determined whether you use Advicor or Lovastatin and flush free niacin. But the cost was what grabbed my attention. You probably have figured it out already, but the 60 count flush free niacin bottle lasts me one month ($6) and the Lovastatin costs me $8. My particular insurance had a copay of $40 for the name brand Advicor. Now I was able to leave the pharmacy with a bill of $14. That is a $26 dollar savings!

As with any medical decision, you should talk to your physician and see if he/she agrees with what I am doing for such good results. Taking 4 pills a day instead of one is not a problem for me. But on a fixed income, $26 a month in savings is very helpful. If you are lucky enough to have insurance with lower copays you might not save that much, but there are plenty of folks out there who might benefit from the lower cost!

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© 2010 John R Wilsdon

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      John R Wilsdon 6 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      linda32 thanks for the comment. Drug companies and insurance companies have a lot of power. In that sense they are hard nuts to crack. But lowering drug costs is actually something that should be easy as evidenced by prices of drugs outside the U.S. and revelations in lots of documents. Perhaps competition with international pharmaceutical companies within our country is a good start. Let that free market work. Give people a choice.

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      linda32 6 years ago

      To cut the costs of prescription medications is a bit difficult, because it depends on:

      - manufacturing company

      - covering insurance

      - own pocket.

      The first too have difficulties in reaching low costs although the highest needs of the third one.

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      raharc 7 years ago

      Soundslike a smart idea. I use the niacia- Niaspan, shichis flush free 750 and it works well do not yet need the Lovostatin,but I am always looking for a way to reduce the costs of prescription medications.