Medically reviewed by, Russell Braun RPH
Have you suffered from constipation nearly your entire life? The agony of painful cramps and then bowel movements with hard stools that make you want to cry. Oh yeah, don’t forget the gas and bloating in between bowel movements that make you feel just blah. Now your doctor is suggesting a drug called Linzess and you want to know if you should use a copay coupon.
Linzess coupon offers 90 days of medication for $30.
Doesn’t it seem like the Linzess coupon offer is to good to be true? Rest assured, your instincts are good. Below I explain what you need to know and what you should try first before you start Linzess.
What is Linzess?
Linzess (linaclotide) is an oral capsule that is used to treat adults (18+) with ongoing constipation. There are two main types of constipation Linzess is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat and they are:
- Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)
Linzess is a prescription only medication.
How does Linzess work?
Linzess works on a substance called a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) in the surface walls of the intestine. This causes more fluid to be secreted into the intestines therefore faster movement of the stool which ultimately relieves constipation. It is also believed to decrease the activity of pain sensing nerves in the GI tract.
It is important to understand how the drug works when you compare it to other drugs for constipation. Lower priced options typically do not work in this same way.
Learn more about how to deal with constipation without drugs in this great resource written by Dr. Wes Jones.
Is there a coupon for Linzess?
Most brand name drugs will have a copay coupon available. The coupon will take the copay (or deductible amount owed per prescription) from whatever your insurance sets it at, and reduce it down to a specific amount set by the manufacturer. An example would be the copay is $150 for brand drugs but the Linzess coupon pays $120 of that cost leaving the patient with a small copay of $30.
On the surface the Linzess copay coupon sounds great, pay just a few dollars per month. However, beware of a few very important details that could cost you big bucks in the long run.
1. The higher your income, the higher the amount you will have to pay for each copay. Consequently, not everyone will get the lowest copay of $30.
2. Linzess copay coupon has a maximum amount it will pay per year. The maximum amount is not provided, therefore asking the manufacturer before using is critical.
3. Copay coupon savings DO NOT apply toward deductibles.
4. All patients who are covered by government insurance are ineligible. Therefore, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and any other government insurance are ineligible.
5. Uninsured patients are also not eligible, you can only use the Linzess coupon WITH insurance.
6. Linzess coupon can’t be combined with other discounts or coupons.
7. Only participating pharmacies will accept the Linzess coupon.
How the Linzess coupon program works
It is important to understand why Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, the joints manufacturers of Linzess offer a copay coupon. Here is a quick breakdown on why copay coupons, also called savings cards even exist.
To understand more on drug copay coupon cards click here.
Steps to take before using a Linzess coupon
#1 Is there a generic drug for Linzess?
Today Linzess is brand name drug only. The generic, linaclotide can’t be manufactured and sold until the patents expire for Linzess. Lawyers working for Allergan and Ironwood have been finding new ways to protect the patent. Consequently, Linzess will not be generically available until 2030.
#2 Are there therapeutic alternatives to Linzess?
A therapeutic alternative is a drug that had different chemical contents, but has the same effects as other drugs for treating a condition. Linzess has no generic alternative, but does have some therapeutic alternatives. Some of these therapeutic alternatives have generics which also means they will be substantially cheaper. Before trying a Linzess coupon make sure to try one or more of the alternatives listed in table 2 below.
Unfortunately, most of the therapeutic alternatives to Linzess that are prescription only don’t have generics either. Make sure to ask your doctor about the best over the counter options that do have generics, in table 2 below.
|Brand name||Generic name|
Over the counter
Some of these over the counter options are available in both over the counter and prescription strengths. The good news, they are all available as generics! Again, talk to your doctor about the dose and frequency for which to take these medications based on symptoms. Sometimes using more than one medication that work in different ways in the body can provide relief. Ask your doctor if that is something you should try.
|Brand name||Generic Name|
|Mag Citra||Magnesium citrate|
# 3 Utilize drug discount programs to research alternatives
Drug discount programs are available today in a variety of formats. It is imporant to understand the differences in a drug discount card or app in contrast to the Linzess coupon. These discount programs negotiate prices with one or all of the following:
- Pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s)
- Drug manufacturers
Most work with pharmacies who want to show up in the search function on the discount programs website or mobile application. Therefore, patients can see a discounted price the pharmacy negotiates with the discount program. Keep in mind these can not be used with insurance, but instead when the negotiated price is better than the price with insurance. Most people would not think the discount price could be better than insurance, but many times it is. A few of the major discount programs available today include:
Linzess has a high list price and because of that drug discount programs are not going to make the price tag manageable for most people. The best practice is to use drug discount programs to see how much the alternatives to Linzess (listed in table 2 above) cost and talk to your doctor about those options.
For example, how much does Linzess cost at Walmart?
Using a the drug discount website GoodRx, you find that a 30 day supply of 145mcg Linzess costs $469 at Walmart!
#4 How much does Linzess cost without insurance?
As mentioned, the price for Linzess is typically $469 according to GoodRx. That price is the full cash price, without any insurance or drug discount program discount.
As you can see even with the discounted price, that cost each month can add up quickly.
Again, checking to see if the therapeutic alternatives that have generics are cheaper without insurance is a good idea. Many times your insurance copay might be more than what you can buy them for from the pharmacy paying cash.
#5 Is Linzess covered by insurance?
What can be done if a therapeutic alternative is not an option? Check with your insurance to see if Linzess is on formulary. If indeed Linzess is on formulary it will have a more favorable out of pocket cost for you.
Check with your pharmacist to calculate your out of pocket cost using your insurance. Costs can vary widely depending on your insurance plan.
Also, the type of insurance plan you have will make a big difference.
- High deductible health plans (HDHP) will have a large deductible that will come from your pocket or the Linzess coupon.
- Preferred provider organizations (PPO) will have a set copay amount, Linzess coupon can also be used for that copay.
HDHP vs. PPO explains more on the differences between these types of insurance.
#6 Is Linzess covered by Medicare?
Linzess ranges from being covered as a preferred drug all the way to being not covered by Medicare. The only way to know for sure in your situation is to go to Medicare.gov and use the plan compare tool. Follow the prompts and provide your basic information about prescriptions and pharmacy preference. Next, you will see many details about coverage, focus in on two things:
- Drug deductible
- Pharmacies & prescription drugs
Clicking on the link under pharmacies & prescription drugs will show you exactly how much Linzess will cost you monthly and yearly.
Remember, Linzess copay coupon can NOT be used for Medicare!
Medicare also offers the Extra Help subsidy, for lower income people. Everyone on Medicare should check to see if they are eligible, because investigating costs you nothing. Consequently, if you are eligible the savings could be huge.
#7 Are there samples available?
Before trying any new medication the best practice is to try samples. Brand name drugs like Linzess will have samples that the manufacturer provides to doctors. Sampling the medication allows a trial where it can be determined if the medication is going to be well tolerated or not. For the best outcome I recommend bullet journaling medication effects.
Linzess like other medications for constipation can take a few days to a week to determine if it is working. Ask for enough Linzess samples to last at least two weeks. This provides enough time to determine effectiveness, side effects and allows time to get a prescription filled.
#8 Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)
In addition to offering the Linzess coupon, a patient assistance program is available through the Allergan Patient Assistance Program. The program is designed to help patients get Linzess at low or no cost.
To be eligible for this assistance patients must meet the following criteria:
- Be a citizen of the United States or legal entrant
- Meet income requirements
- Medicare Part D eligible if you were denied for the low income subsidy
- Income limit based on Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Anyone who is close to the FPL cutoff level should still apply. The applications are approved on a case by case basis and anyone slightly over that mark could still get assistance.
The Allergan Patient Assistance Program form for Linzess can be downloaded here. A doctor must complete the paperwork sign and return to Allergan. The optimal time to complete the process is right after the doctor provides you with samples. That should ensure the assistance is available when you need to get a prescription filled.
State Prescription Assistance Programs (SPAPs)
Some states have there own state pharmaceutical assistance programs that are run by the state. They normally focus on low-income patients and also offer some type of Medicare Part D coverage as the Linzess PAP may not apply to Medicare enrollees.
A state by state listing of SPAPs can be searched on Medicare.gov.
#9 How do I get a Linzess copay coupon savings card?
After trying the steps mentioned above, the Linzess coupon may be the best option because it does lower copay or deductible costs. Once you confirm that Linzess worked and was well tolerated, a coupon can be obtained here.
Allergan & Ironwood claims that patients can get Linzess for as low as $30 dollars for a 30 or 90 day supply using the Linzess coupon.
Please remember the Linzess coupon has a maximum payout and is only good for 12 fills of a 30 day prescription.
Finally, you may be able eligible to get a new savings coupon the next year that is good for another 12 fills or the maximum payout amount.
Beware of copay accumulator programs!
Many insurance companies have added a feature called a copay accumulator, because high deducible health plans are becoming more common. This is a fancy term for counting how much of the deductible (or copay) was paid by the patient versus the copay coupon. When accumulators are used any amount paid by the copay coupon will NOT count toward the deductible.
For more information on these programs and an example that makes it easy to understand read my pharmacist tips on copay accumulator programs.
Click here to get Dr. Jason Reed’s exclusive list of medication questions you MUST ask your doctor, for FREE!
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