Migraine abortive medications - triptan prices and patent expirations

Patient Expert

Especially with the rising costs of health care (even for those of us with insurance), we have frequent discussions regarding the cost of triptans, generic triptans, and new developments.

There has also been recent discussion on combining triptans and NSAIDS. Some Migraineurs have found that taking an NSAID along with a triptan offers improved Migraine relief. Trexima, a combination of sumatriptan (Imitrex) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) has been developed and clinical trials conducted.

The trial and safety data are now under review, and Trexima could appear on the U.S. market by the end of 2007. For more information about this combination medication, see Study Finds Sumatriptan-Naproxen Combination More Effective against Migraine Attacks.

On the issue of triptan cost -- here are the average prices for one dosage of each of the triptans in tablet form:

Triptakg Pricrice/Dose Imitrex, 100mg$ 179.23/9$19.91Maxalt, 10 mg$107.44/6$17.91Zomig, 5 mg$57.99/3$19.33Amerge, 2.5 mg$196.09/9$21.79Axert, 12.5 mg$120.51/6$20.09Relpax, 40 mg$108.19/6$18.03Frova, 2.5 mg$167.84/9$18.65

Drug patents extend 14 years from the date a drug is first available for sale. Generic forms of medications often receive tentative FDA approval a few years before the brand name patents expire so that the generics can be available soon after patent expiration. Here are the dates when triptan patents are due to expire:

  • Imitrex STATdose in 2006 (December)
  • Imitrex tablets in 2009
  • Imitrex nasal spray 2011
  • Zomig tablets in 2011
  • Imitrex NS in 2011
  • Amerge in 2012
  • Maxalt in 2012
  • Zomig-ZMT in 2015
  • Axert in 2015
  • Frova in 2015
  • Relpax in 2016