The cost of modafinil can exceed $1700 per month. For just about anyone, that’s a very bitter pill to swallow (no pun intended).
Thankfully, you don’t need to spend nearly as much. It’s actually quite easy to get modafinil at a discount of over 90%.
What most people don’t realize is that, unlike just a few years back, modafinil is no longer made by a single company. Up until 2015, the drug was under a 20-year patent. It was sold exclusively under the brand name Provigil (or sometimes, depending on the market, Modavigil, Vigil, or Alertect).
Once the patent expired, any pharmaceutical was allowed to apply to make a generic version of the drug. That’s exactly what happened, and it drove modafinil cost down drastically.
There are currently several companies that manufacture and sell the medication for a tiny fraction of the original price of Provigil.
It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in using modafinil off-label to help you work or study, or if you have a prescription to treat a condition like narcolepsy or another form of sleep disorder.
These days, high-quality generic versions of modafinil, costing pennies on the dollar of what the original did, are but a few clicks of the mouse away.
How Much Does Modafinil Cost Normally
Depending on where you get modafinil, according to Drugs.com, a 200 mg pill can set you back as much as $58.84. That’s the cost without insurance.
The standard modafinil dose is one tablet per day. Multiplying the cost of a single pill by 30 brings the total expense to over $1760 per month. That’s nearly $21500 per year.
Some places do sell it for less. The modafinil price at Costco, for example, comes in lower at $44.39. But even then, that’s still a whopping $1330 per month and over $16200 per year.
Having insurance will bring your modafinil costs down further. But, it rarely falls below $20 per tablet, which is still $600 per month and $7300 per year. That, of course, assumes your insurance covers it in the first place and if so, agrees you really do need the drug and extends coverage.
Insurance or no insurance, any way you slice it, these prices are still massive amounts of money to be paying for a pill which, these days, costs much less than a dollar per unit to produce.
Assuming you like saving money, here is how you can get the monthly cost of the same 200 mg dose down to just $270 per year.
Where to Buy Cheap Modafinil
As mentioned, drug patents typically last 20 years (barring any extenuating circumstances). Once they expire, other companies can step in and, after approval by a regulating body, start making generic versions of the product.
All generic really means is a non-brand name. From a chemical composition point of view, the drugs are identical. They meet the same quality and safety standards and work in exactly the same way.
The only two differences are generics don’t have a brand name like Provigil stamped on the side of the pill and opting to use them can save you thousands upon thousands each year.
So where can you find these cheaper products? No matter where you live, you can simply buy generic modafinil online.
Modafinil Price per Pill Comparison
You have seen hints already that, in the world of modafinil, it’s not unusual to see wild per pill price swings. Depending on where you go generic or brand name and where you buy from, the cost can range from as little as $0.75 to a whopping $58.84 per tablet.
Generics are, of course, the cheapest. The price of a 200 mg pill, the typical modafinil daily dose, varies between $0.75 and $2.80, depending on the quantity you get.
Compare that to the $44.39 to $58.84 that, based on pricing information from Drugs.com, a single table of Provigil costs (which, in the absolute best case, translates to a 21x multiple).
Below is a table showing the exact cost ranges for the brand name and most popular generic versions of modafinil.
The story with armodafinil prices (a drug similar and closely related to modafinil) is the same. Generic versions go for between $0.88 and $2.95 per tablet, while the brand name Nuvigil costs upwards of $27.
Why Modafinil Prices Vary So Much
The main reason why brand name medication, modafinil including, costs as much as it does are its development costs. The financial burden and risk a pharmaceutical company takes to research, trial, and finally (and hopefully) develop the drug are huge.
From start to finish, the entire process can take many years and cost hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.
A company first needs to fund a team of researchers and expensive labs to identify and isolate a compound. That compound then needs to be extensively tested in a laboratory environment to determine its viability.
From there, the drug’s safety and effectiveness need to be proven, first through animal testing, followed by human trials.
Finally, manufacturing facilities need to be set up, and the drug produced and marketed.
It’s also possible, of course, that at any point in the process, things can go wrong. In the best case, that would set the project back by a few months (incurring further costs). In the worst case, the project could be outright canceled.
Drug Patent Protections
When a pharmaceutical company delivers a drug to the market, they obviously want to be compensated for developing it. Turning a profit selling it would be nice too. That is where drug patents come into play.
A patent ensures a company which develops a drug has exclusive ownership and rights to it over a 20-year period.
Two decades gives pharmaceuticals ample time to recover their costs and make a profit before competitors swoop in and start selling less expensive generics (ones which didn’t take years and millions of dollars to develop).
How Drug Prices Are Set
When a company starts selling a drug, they’re the ones who determine how much it should cost. Thanks to the patent, they have an absolute monopoly on the medication for 20 years in which to recover their investment and make a profit.
Pharmaceuticals will, of course, consider in the price their development and production costs. They will also take into account how many people are potential candidates for the drug.
If there are only a few thousand individuals who may benefit from the drug, the price will be set much higher so the company can make money. But if millions of people are candidates, as is the case with modafinil, the cost can be set much lower (albeit, still quite high in the grand scheme of things).
Off-Patent Drugs Are Cheaper
The day after a 20-year patent on a drug expires, the developer of the medication is assumed to have recovered its costs and made a tidy profit. At that point, any company interested in producing a generic version of the product can apply to do so.
They need to submit what’s called an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA).
Before their application is approved, a company must prove they’re able to and will produce the generic to be identical in chemical structure, have the same active ingredients, and require the same dose as the brand name medication.
This process is much, much simpler, quicker, and less costly than developing a drug from scratch. There is no need for researchers, labs, or expensive animal and human trials. All that is required is a facility where the medication can be made.
Because the cost to the generic producing company is so much lower, they can also afford to sell the drug at a much lower price. That is indeed what has recently happened with modafinil.
Primary Generic Modafinil Manufacturers
Shortly after its patent expired, a handful of companies applied for and were allowed to manufacture generic versions of modafinil. The most commonly found products are made by Sun Pharmaceuticals and HAB Pharmaceuticals.
Headquartered in India, Sun Pharmaceuticals is the most popular manufacturer of generic modafinil. Their products are as follows:
Being a large, international, and publicly traded company, Sun Pharmaceuticals has access to state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and well-trained lab techs and scientists. They’re a well-respected pharmaceutical with a reputation for making high-quality products.
In addition to producing modafinil that’s on-par with the brand-name version, Sun Pharmaceuticals and delivers drugs in several other categories, including cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, and psychiatry.
Another company based out of India, HAB Pharmaceuticals is somewhat smaller than Sun Pharmaceuticals. But, their generic versions of modafinil are almost as popular. They make the following products:
Of the four versions, the vast majority of online vendors sell only Modvigil and Artvigil.
Much like Sun Pharmaceuticals, HAB Pharmaceuticals is well recognized and respected internationally. They follow the same strict manufacturing processes and guidelines as all other pharmaceuticals. They have always maintained an excellent track record.
Other Generic Modafinil Products
Since the expiration of modafinil’s patent, the list of available generic alternatives has continued to grow.
Because every manufacturer needs to produce the exact same drug and follow the same stringent process, all of these generics are equivalent both to each other and to the brand name product Provigil. Some are just less popular than others and may be hard to find.
Generic Modafinil Quality
It’s easy to be concerned about product quality when something costs a fraction of the original. Much too often that is the case with physical products liked clothes or electronics.
In the world of pharmaceuticals, however, there is little cause for concern. Every generic drug manufacturer needs to adhere to strict regulations and produce a medication that is chemically and functionally equivalent to the brand name.
And in the case of modafinil, both Sun Pharmaceuticals and HAB pharmaceuticals do precisely that and do it very well. They meet required standards, they undergo mandatory inspections, and their products pass random quality tests.
As little as a few years ago, if you had to or wanted to use modafinil, you were in for a bit of sticker shock. Modafinil cost was sky high, and there was very little anyone could do about it. With zero competition in the market, everyone was at the mercy of its manufacturer.
Today, thanks to the recent expiry of the drug’s 20-year pattern, generic modafinil is available at a fraction of the brand name product’s prices. With savings of over 90%, there’s now little reason to keep buying Provigil at your local pharmacy.
Get high-quality generic modafinil from a reputable online seller instead (you can find a list of vendors here) and spend your hard-earned money elsewhere.