If you have been prescribed Diovan or its generic version Valsartan for treating your high blood pressure, and you find out that it is no longer covered by your insurance anymore – you need a plan. The average cost of Valsartan without insurance is above $100. For a medication that you need to take daily, the price is too high. The question is, can you switch to Losartan (Cozaar) or any cheaper alternative? Or are there any other ways to save money on high blood pressure medication? Let’s find out.
Valsartan belongs to the drug family of Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). ARBs are drugs that prevent angiotensin II from binding to the angiotensin II receptor on blood vessels and other tissues. In simple words, these drugs prevent the narrowing of the blood vessels which in turn lowers the blood pressure and improves the flow of blood in the body. These drugs are mainly used in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetic nephropathy, and congestive heart failure.
Though Valsartan is the generic version of Diovan, it is still more expensive than other blood pressure medications. Losartan is an alternative drug with quite similar properties to that of valsartan.
Both Valsartan and Losartan belong to the ARBs drug class and are used to treat the same conditions. However, there are some differences that you should be aware of:
Difference Between Losartan and Valsartan:
Losartan is different from other ARBs (Valsartan, Irbesartan) because it has a shorter duration of action. A lower dose of Losartan (25mg or 50mg) once daily is not enough. A 100 mg of Losartan should be taken to last the full 24 hours. Whereas, Valsartan and Micardis can provide you the needed coverage with only one dose of say 40 mg, but they are more expensive than Losartan.
Both the medications are available in a pill form, and one of their side effects include raised potassium. So it is better to have your blood tests regularly monitored after you start taking them.
Both Losartan and Valsartan are effective in reducing blood pressure. Losartan, in addition, also helps in slightly reducing uric acid levels, which Valsartan does not so this is another good reason to switch to Losartan.
Using Ace Inhibitors:
Another way to save money on high blood pressure medication is using ACE Inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor). They are cheaper and work with the same effect as ARBs without the cough side effect. Some examples include Benazepril (Lotensin), lisinopril (Zestril) and enalapril(Vasotec).
Lisinopril is quite inexpensive, and a daily dose of 20 mg is enough and lasts you for 24 hours.
ACEIs work by stopping the natural conversion of Angiotensin I to Angiotensin II in the blood. Angiotensin II is an extremely potent chemical that increases the pressure within the blood vessels leading to hypertension.
Splitting Pills Is Not an Option:
You may have heard pill splitting saves you money. This is true for many drugs but not in this case. If you are taking Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) for your blood pressure then splitting the pill with a cutter is not a good idea as it may result in a lower dose or the medicine may get exposed to moisture and heat. All of this can increase your blood pressure levels and increase your risks of heart disease or a heart attack.
Using Discount Drug Network Card to Save Money on High Blood Pressure Medication:
Many blood pressure medications are available in generic form. Although the cost of these medications is most of the time affordable, in many cases it is still over $100 per month for those that have not met their deductible, are uninsured or underinsured.
Diovan HCT is a generic drug that helps in managing symptoms of high blood pressure. The average cost for Diovan is over $120.00 for a 30-day supply. Cozaar is another generic drug that is used to treat high blood pressure and helps in reducing the risk of strokes. The average cost of Cozaar is over $50 for a one-month supply. If these medications are not covered then affording them on a regular basis is a real struggle for many patients. Also, sometimes the doctor will not advise a cheaper alternative as it may not function in the same manner. Therefore, it’s necessary to look for ways that can help you save money on high blood pressure medication without having to switch or change anything.
Discount Drug Network leverages the power of group purchasing to provide a free discount card that offers up to 85% savings on prescription medication. In the examples of Diovan HCT and Cozaar, the cost went down from more than $150 to less than $60 per month. That is a huge difference and a significant amount for someone looking to save money on high blood pressure medication each month.
How It Works: How Can Anything That is FREE Save Me Money?
Discount Drug Network covers millions of people and leverages the power of group purchasing to negotiate these discounts on behalf of our cardholders. The pharmacies agree to let our members get discount pricing (just like they do already for insurance customers) because they want our business! They not only give our members fantastic discounts, but they also pay us a small transaction fee each time we process a prescription through our network. This allows us to continue to operate, grow, and save our members money! For the first time, the individual consumer gets access to pricing typically reserved for the largest insurance companies.
The Discount Drug Network card is easy to use. Visit the Discount Drug Network website and use the pricing tool to find the lowest price in your area. Then, simply present the Discount Drug Network card at your pharmacy when you drop off your prescription. It is that easy!