Prescriptions

What's the Least Expensive Cholesterol Medication in 2021?

Jacqueline Slobin15 Sep 2021

Statins are a type of medication prescribed to treat high cholesterol by lowering cholesterol production in the liver. According to our research, the average retail cost of statins used to treat moderate cases of high cholesterol is $139.29  for generic medications and $360.43 for brand-name statins.

For $45 per month, Mira members get access to low-cost lab testing, affordable urgent care visits, and MiraRx can help you access various statins at discounted prices and compare prices at different pharmacies.

Note: This article is meant for informational purposes only. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you have questions about high cholesterol and treatment options, you should talk to your doctor. 

The Cost of Statins Cost Without Insurance

Without insurance or discount codes, statins can vary from about $33 per month to $600 per month. Below we outline the average retail price of statins in the U.S. 

Our table uses dosages and monthly quantities typically prescribed for those who require moderate-intensity dosing and need an LDL reduction of about 30-50%. Note that the price of these medications will likely be higher if you require a higher dosage. 

Average Retail Cost of Statins in the U.S. 

Medication nameGeneric or BrandDosageQuantityAverage Retail Price
AtorvastatinGeneric20 mg30 tablets$77.44
LipitorBrand20 mg30 tablets$602.33
FluvastatinGeneric40 mg60 tablets$269.91
LovastatinGeneric40 mg30 tablets$33.17
PitavastatinGeneric2 mg30 tablets$398.39
PravastatinGeneric40 mg30 tablets$35.92
PravacholBrand40 mg30 tablets$225.47
RosuvastatinGeneric10 mg30 tablets$133.35
CrestorBrand10 mg30 tablets$309.49
SimvastatinGeneric40 mg30 tablets$26.87
ZocorBrand40 mg30 tablets$304.44

Sources: Statin Dosing and ACC/AHA Classification of Intensity, 2013 ACC/AHA Blood Cholesterol Guideline, GoodRx, WebMD

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In addition to cost, it is important to discuss your lifestyle choices and other medications with your doctor. Some statins result in drug interactions with other medications and side effects. In addition, some statins are also affected by certain foods, such as grapefruit juice. 

What is High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood that helps the body make certain vitamins and hormones. There are generally two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL cholesterol. Generally, LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol, while HDL is considered “good” cholesterol. Certain genetic factors and lifestyle choices can lead to high levels of LDL cholesterol. Extremely high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to obstruction in blood flow, potential blood clots, and potentially heart attack or stroke. 

High cholesterol is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In general, high cholesterol does not cause any noticeable symptoms and can be detected through a lipid panel blood test.

Medications Used to Treat High Cholesterol

There are many different types of medications used to treat high cholesterol. It is important to speak with your doctor and determine which type of medication is best given your medical situation and other health conditions. The main classes of prescriptions used to treat high cholesterol include statins, PCSK9 inhibitors, fibrates, bile acid resins, niacin, omega 3 fatty acids. 

How to Access Statins at a Lower Cost

It is clear that medications to treat high cholesterol can be very expensive. Here are some ways that you can get these medications at the lowest cost: 

1) MiraRx: through Mira’s Prescription Portal, you search the name of the medication you need and your location. You will be presented with coupons you can use to get your prescription at the lowest cost. For example, you can get Atorvastatin for up to 73% off at pharmacies in New York City.

2) Look for generic medications: generic medications can be significantly cheaper than their name-brand counterparts. If you are prescribed a name-brand medication, you can call your doctor or pharmacist and ask if you can take a generic medication as a substitute. Sometimes there are differences between name brands and generic medications, but in most cases, the generic version of the medication can be substituted for the name brand.

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3) Check the price at different locations: pharmacies may offer the same medication at different prices. Therefore, you can call some of your local pharmacies or use MiraRx to see how much your medication will cost at different locations. 

Lowering Your Cholesterol Without Insurance

There are several lifestyle changes that you can make to lower your cholesterol levels and take medication. Below are some of the ways you can work on lowering your cholesterol: 

  • Eat more foods that lower LDL cholesterol. A Harvard Health article explains that the following foods can help lower cholesterol levels:: oats, barley, whole grains, beans, eggplant, nuts, vegetable oil, soy, fatty fish, fiber supplements, soy, apples, grapes, and strawberries.
  • Increase exercise. Studies show that exercising for 2.5 hours/week can help to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. Many types of exercise, including walking, can be beneficial.
  • Don’t smoke. Research suggests that smoking increases the risk of high cholesterol. If you currently smoke, you can speak with your doctor about a plan to decrease your smoking.


Sources: 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/high-cholesterol/cholesterol-in-the-blood

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/syc-20350800

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol

http://www.mplsheart.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/S413160-20871-MHI-Statin-Therapy-Algorithm-4.pdf

https://www.webmd.com/rx/drug-prices/livalo