How Much Does Lovaza Cost?

Don called me last week.

He wanted to reduce his triglycerides, but wanted to find out more about OmegaVia first.

“My doctor told me to take Lovaza,”he said.

Lovaza is the new FDA approved drug made from fish oil. It is used to treat high triglycerides. Each Lovaza capsule has 840 mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3.

“Lovaza works really well. How’s it working out?” I asked.

“Well, I tried to fill the prescription, but you’re not going to believe what Lovaza costs!” They wanted me to pay $150 copay for a one-month supply! That’s way out of my budget.”

I get calls like these regularly.

What Lovaza Costs…

7 out of 10 insurance policies cover Lovaza. But most of you will still have to pay very high out-of-pocket costs.

It’s worse if your insurance will not cover Lovaza. Then, your monthly prescription can cost you anywhere from $280 to $520. Yes, that’s PER MONTH!

At my local SavOn Pharmacy, it costs $2.33 per pill. And the daily dosage is 4 pills per day. So it costs $9.33 per day or just under $300 per month. Or about $3,500 per year.

Yikes!

“For that mark up, you’d think they’d cover up the fishy smell!”

– Anonymous caller complaining about having to pay high copay for Lovaza.

If you buy Lovaza online, the cheapest I’ve seen it is $1.29 per pill or $1,883 per year.

Why does Lovaza cost so much?

  1. Expensive FDA approval process. It can cost a drug company half a billion dollars to get a new drug approved. Someone has to pay for that cost.
  2. Complicated health care system that allows several players to profit from the cost of a drug. But that’s another blog for another day.
  3. Cost of running a drug company.
  4. Cost of promoting and advertising Lovaza.
  5. Profit. Since Lovaza is the only FDA approved fish oil, they can charge a premium.

Lovaza made $1 billion or more for its maker.

Lovaza marketing claim says that it is:

  • FDA approved
  • Contains more Omega-3 than over-the-counter supplements
  • Uses 5-step patented purification process
  • Certified Pure (unlike dietary supplements)
  • Mercury content is acceptable (unlike supplements)
  • Omega-3 content is certified (unlike supplements)

Lovaza is a pure fish oil product. No arguments.

Makers of Lovaza claim that since supplement makers are not required to test, certify or guarantee any of the above, all supplements are not to be trusted.

They have a point. Many supplements are not thoroughly tested.

But what if there were SOME supplements that were also:

  • Purified by patented process
  • 3rd party certified for purity
  • 3rd party certified for mercury
  • 3rd party certified for Omega-3 content

And some supplements contain MORE Omega-3 than Lovaza!

Could it be true?

Yes, it is.

A few conscientious supplement companies do this.

Don’t take my word for it. There is an organization called IFOS. It stands for International Fish Oil Standards. They are located at the University of Guelph.

They test fish oils. That’s all they do. And they publish the test results for free. You can review all the results.


IFOS logo
Click Here to View
Sample of 3rd Party Certificate of Analysis

Don’t take my word for it. Google it yourself. Google the phrase ‘IFOS Consumer Reports’ and take a look.

University of Michigan – what do they know about Lovaza cost?

The University of Michigan insurance stopped covering Lovaza.

Why? Because they felt that there was a cheaper, safe over-the-counter alternative available. Scroll down to page 2 of this document.

best fish oil supplements

FDA approval does not necessarily mean greater potency, purity, or effectiveness. It just means that somebody assembled the hundreds of millions of dollars to obtain FDA approval.

There is plenty of data documenting the ABSENCE of mercury and pesticide residues from fish oil nutritional supplements. 

The notion that Lovaza is pure and nutritional supplements are not is simply not supported by any of the independent test that have been conducted, including a study by Consumer Reports and two by Consumer Lab (an excellent service, by the way).

– Dr. William Davis M.D., Cardiologist.

best fish oil supplements

What about Generic Lovaza?

As of now, there is no generic alternative for Lovaza. As patents expire and other pharma companies enter the market, Lovaza’s price will go down.

Until then, if your insurance does not cover the cost of Lovaza, I suggest you start with 3rd party tested pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements.

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this blog do not constitute medical advice. This is merely an open discussion of the science behind health and nutrition. Please consult your physician for medical advice.

Author Vin Kutty frequently writes about Lovaza About the Author: Vin Kutty is OmegaVia’s Scientific Advisor and Chief Blogger. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with over 20 years of experience. Email him.


Lovaza cost

Comments

  1. says

    I have found out their is a connection between high triglycerides and a impacted
    colon, since triglycerides are produced in the small intestine . There is a
    product called Welchol, this drug works through the intestines. I have a impacted
    colon and triglycerides levels of 400 .

    • Omegavia says

      Hi Fred – did not know that there was a connection between triglycerides and an impacted colon. My guess is the pathology, or at least the most direct cause of the impacted colon, has something to do with the high triglycerides. And, triglycerides are produced in the liver and fat cells. Also, high triglyceride levels in the blood are related to excessive starch and sugar consumption. Welchol can reduce cholesterol and LDL, but I have not heard of it reducing triglycerides. My two cents as a nutritionist…for what it’s worth.
      – Vin

  2. Jim says

    Wow, I would not have thought Lovaza was that much. With my insurance it costs $50 for 3 months (4 per day) and I thought that was too much for fish oil .

    • Omegavia says

      Hi Jim – you’ve got great insurance! Keep it as longs as you can. Some policies have been dropping coverage for Lovaza recently.
      – Vin

    • Omegavia says

      Hi Ash – check with your doctor’s office. I know a few people who got $20 off coupons. You might also want to check Lovaza’s website or give their customer service department a call.
      – Vin Kutty

  3. Russ Powell says

    News Flash – re Lovaza $20 off coupons. As of Last Friday, GSK decided they will no no longer honors their own $20 off coupon for mail order prescriptions. My doctor gave me one of the coupons this month and I tried to use it today as per instructions with the coupon. They refused to honor it and offered no explanation.

    • Omegavia says

      Hi Russ – thanks for sharing. It’s too bad that they suddenly stop accepting their own coupons. On the plus side, I’m hearing a lot of rumblings about Lovaza going generic in the next couple of years. There are a couple of companies just waiting for the patent to run out. Until then, Lovaza GSK sets the rules.
      – Vin Kutty

  4. jr23 says

    there is triple strength omega 3 fish oil at sams club
    totals close to the lovaza 4 caps I have used this since my prescription plan
    ended with layoff . with Drs approval i had a 577 triglyceride now is less
    than 90 i think they worked better than the rx and it $18 for 150 caps

    look at the labels and avoid the ones that do not tell the breakdown
    if they just tell you total try a different brand
    also donot confuse the omega 3 6 9 thats not the one you want

    • Bob Hill says

      jr23, what is the exact brand name for the triple strength omega 3 fish oil caps you were referring too at Sam’s. I would like to look it up and compare the EPA/DHA levels to Lovaza. I am willing to take whatever is required to equal the Lovaza levels rather than pay the outrageous prices for Lovaza.
      Thanks,

  5. Alex Mckenzie says

    I have to take lovaza. I can not take any other cholesterol medicine, I HAVE TRIED THEM ALL, SOME HAVE HURT ME REAL BAD LIKE LIKE CRESTOR.

  6. Bob Hill says

    I have to take 1 gram a day. Lovaza has been dropped from my insurance formulary list for 2014. If I stay with Lovaza it will cost me $770 for 3 month supply. $3080 a year at Walgreens. Ri-damn-diculous! I have found a supplement that is fairly close to the EPA/DHA of Lovaza, so I will switch to that, even though I know it is not as good. Where’s a generic when you really need it?

    • Vin Kutty says

      Hi Bob – there may be generics to Lovaza on its way, but I would still expect to pay a lot for it. Since Lovaza is just very highly purified Omega-3, there are a few supplements that you can use in its place with same results.

      • Bob Hill says

        Right now I am taking 6 1360mg triple strength Puritan’s Pride fish oil caps a day which is equal to what the EPA/DHA levels the doctor prescribed for me for the 4 a day (1 gram) Lovaza tablets. They are so big I can hardly swallow them, but you do what you got to do if you can’t comfortably afford Lovaza. My blood tests have showed that I am getting the results the doctor wanted.

  7. Manfred says

    My triglyceride were 840 my colesterol 350 i start taking lovaso for 2 ,months and my triglyceride went down to 95 and colesterol down to 93
    My doctor told me to stop taking lovasa , my colesterol was to low so it was the triglyceride.
    The lovasa does work.

    • Vin Kutty, MS says

      Hi Manfred – if you have not made any changes in your diet and exercise, your triglyceride will go back up in about a month or two if you stop taking Lovaza.

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