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How can diabetics save money on Jardiance (empagliflozin)?

Answered by Rebecca Farley | Reviewed by a licensed U.S. pharmacist | Posted June 11, 2020
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With an average retail price above $500 for 30 tablets, brand name Jardiance is not cheap, nor does it have a generic alternative. According to the Mayo Clinic, Jardiance (empagliflozin) prevents glucose absorption in the kidneys, keeping overall blood sugar low. Jardiance is part of the sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor class. This class is often one of the first treatment options prescribed to type 2 patients and cannot be used for type 1 diabetes. Metformin, which you can read about here, is also a popular first-line medication for type 2.

The easiest way to save money on Jardiance (empagliflozin) is to explore ordering it from an accredited international source. There are safe online options that sell Jardiance for 90% less than in the U.S. Bear in mind that international online pharmacies will not take your U.S. insurance, so you will be paying cash. In some cases your co-pay will be cheaper and the international pharmacy option will not be necessary.,

In addition, the PharmacyChecker Discount Card can shave 17% off the cash price of Jardiance at your local U.S. pharmacy. Finally, like many other medications, the pharmaceutical company marketing the drug provides a Jardiance savings card, which can, according to its website, lower your co-pay to $0.

Comparing Jardiance (empagliflozin) Prices

Drug Strength Quantity U.S. Average Retail Price PharmacyChecker U.S. Discount Card Price Lowest International Accredited Pharmacy Price Greatest Percentage Savings
Jardiance (empagliflozin) 25 mg 30 tablets $624.33 $517.81 $51.33 92%
Jardiance (empagliflozin) 10 mg 30 tablets $618.77 $517.81 $45.30 93%

Sources: Average U.S. Retail Price estimated based on pricing on GoodRx.com. PharmacyChecker U.S. Discount Card Price based on availability at pharmacies near Brooklyn, New York. Lowest Accredited International Pharmacy Price based on prices listed on PharmacyChecker.com.

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Does insurance cover Jardiance?

Jardiance is included in the ExpressScripts formulary; the CVS Caremark drug formulary also includes Jardiance, but patients must complete step therapy before obtaining a prescription. (Find out more about prescription step therapy here.)

However, anecdotes from patients on Twitter suggest getting insurance to cover Jardiance can be difficult. Metformin is the preferred treatment for diabetes type 2, so patients may have to try (and reject) metformin before obtaining coverage for Jardiance.

Additionally, Jardiance’s prices surged in 2020, alongside many other vital drugs. Many of these drugs can be found for much cheaper abroad. In January alone, Jardiance’s price went up by 6%.

According to the drug company’s website, most patients receiving Jardiance will pay under $50 in copays for the medication. However, a few patients will pay closer to $200, a copay that far exceeds the cost of ordering 30 tablets from an international pharmacy.

Jardiance and Ketoacidosis

Jardiance is specifically a treatment for type 2 diabetics. In 2020, the FDA rejected Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s request to have the drug approved for treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. In this case, patients would take empagliflozin alongside insulin. The FDA rejected this usage based on the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (commonly referred to as DKA).

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Can Jardiance be taken in combination with metformin?

Many diabetes medications are combined with or prescribed in combination with metformin; usually, drug companies attach the suffix “met” to the brand name title to indicate a drug is combined with metformin, but that’s certainly not a hard-and-fast rule. (See: GalvusMet, Janumet.) Boehringer Ingelheim manufactures a drug called Synjardy, which is an empagliflozin and metformin combination.

What are the side effects of Jardiance?

According to the Mayo Clinic, Jardiance may come with “bladder pain” and potentially painful urination. Many of the more common side effects of Jardiance are bladder-related. Other side effects include:

  • Itching
  • Stinging or redness of the vaginal area
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Cloudy or blood urine
  • Frequent feeling to urinate
  • Sensation of burning or pain while urinating

In March of 2017, the FDA flagged Jardiance along with other sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors for having the potential to cause nephrolithiasis (commonly referred to as kidney stones). After investigating, the FDA found that the danger was not pressing enough to change the labelling of the drug.

Somewhat notoriously, empagliflozin, along with other SGLT-2 inhibitors, can also cause necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum.

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Does Jardiance have any other uses?

In 2016, the FDA approved Jardiance for another indication, preventing “cardiovascular death” in patients suffering from both diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. The FDA originally approved Jardiance for treatment of type 2 diabetes (alongside a healthy diet and exercise, as is usually prescribed) in 2014.

Where is Jardiance manufactured?

Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company based in Germany, manufactures Jardiance and markets the drug alongside Eli Lilly for the U.S. market. According to packaging published by the National Institute of Health, Jardiance sold in the U.S. is made in Italy.

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Read more about saving money on meds on Ask PharmacyChecker

How can patients deal with drug price increases?

Why are drug prices so different at different pharmacies?

How do I know an online pharmacy is legitimate and safe?

Do you have questions or concerns about diabetes medications? We’re here to help.

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Updated June 15, 2020

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