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How much does ADHD medication cost?

Answered by Rebecca Farley | Reviewed by a licensed U.S. pharmacist | Posted June 18, 2020
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has one very famous treatment: an amphetamine salt combination called Adderall. The drug is, quite literally, a combination of four amphetamine salts, which are as follows: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate and amphetamine sulfate. The FDA describes Adderall as a “central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine.” In 2017, the FDA approved a new medication for ADHD called Mydayis (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine), an extended release form of the amphetamine salt combination, providing people with ADHD greater ability to focus over the course of an entire day.

 

 

Both brand name drugs Adderall and Mydayis are pretty expensive, with prices averaging over $500 for 60 tablets. Amphetamine salt combination (Adderall) has a generic alternative, which is significantly cheaper. Mydayis’s patent has yet to expire, so there is no generic.

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What is the difference between Mydayis and Adderall XR?

The FDA approved Mydayis in June of 2017 for adults and children aged four or older for treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is essentially the same medication as Adderall (both bear the same active ingredients). Mydayis is a newer, brand name version of generic dextroamphetamine/amphetamine that lasts longer than even Adderall XR. Compared to Adderall XR, which lasts 12 hours, Mydaysis’s effects should last 16 hours, or into the evening if the patient takes their medication in the morning. The two have different strengths and release mechanisms: Mydayis has three types of drug releasing beads and Adderall XR has two types of drug releasing beads. The mechanism allows patients on Mydayis to have more consistent drug levels throughout the day, which means it is good for patients seeking a drug with a longer-lasting effect than that of Adderall XR. Mydayis is slightly more expensive, running almost $11 per tablet on average, with Adderall priced approximately at $8.50 per tablet.

 

If you are looking for discounted cash prices on ADHD medication, talk to your provider about switching to a generic form of your prescription. The generic amphetamine salt combination can be found at a 91% discount using the PharmacyChecker U.S. Discount Card. Bear in mind that the discount card will get you a discount on a cash price for the drug -- not to be used in conjunction with your health insurance. Often, the discounted out-of-pocket price is even lower than whatever co-pay you would pay with insurance.

 

Don’t consider a Canadian pharmacy. ADHD medication is a controlled substance. You will not be able to order amphetamine salt combinations from safe pharmacies abroad because legitimate accredited international pharmacies simply do not ship controlled substances to the U.S.

 

 

 

Comparing ADHD Medication Prices

Drug Strength Quantity U.S. Average Retail Price PharmacyChecker U.S. Discount Card Price Percentage Savings
Adderall (amphetamine salt combination) 20mg 60 tablets $512.48 $428.46 16%
Adderall XR (dextroamphetamine-amphet ER) 30mg 60 tablets $547.61 $407.81 26%
Dextroamphetamine-amphet ER (generic) 30mg 60 tablets $383.24 $33.27 91%
Mydayis (amphetamine; dextroamphetamine) 50mg 60 tablets $700.92 $577.52 18%

Sources: Average U.S. Retail Price calculated based on pricing on GoodRx.com. PharmacyChecker U.S. Discount Card Price based on availability at pharmacies near New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Will my insurance cover ADHD medication?

ExpressScripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers, excludes Adderall from its drug formulary. CVS Caremark covers Adderall, but there is a quantity limit on the drug.

Most Medicaid plans do cover amphetamine salt combinations, but you will have to check with your state program directly. You can check the individual state drug exclusion here.

ADHD Medication Abuse

The FDA and the DEA tightly control medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder because it can be easily abused. Adderall is a combination of amphetamine salts, which are also used in illegal drugs. If you or a family member are using Adderall, check with your provider regarding potentially addictive effects. Make sure to stow your medication in a childproof container.

 

Additionally, selling or giving away your ADHD medication is illegal. If you have extra medication, check with your local pharmacy to see if it operates a drug takeback program. The DEA also has a drug takeback locator, which can help you find a local place to dispose of your extra prescription drugs.

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Where are Adderall and Mydayis manufactured?

A spokesperson for Teva Pharmaceuticals told PharmacyChecker that the brand name drug is manufactured in Virginia, in the United States. The labels for the generic equivalents do not specify the manufacture site. Mydayis, which is manufactured by Shire Pharmaceuticals, does not have a manufacturing site listed on the label, and a representative for the company did not know where the drug was made. Transparency in the U.S. drug supply chain is generally severely lacking.

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