No, it’s really cheap. This is because baclofen is an old medication. It was released 40 years ago and is no longer protected by a patent. This means there are cheap generic versions available which keep the price low.
In Australia baclofen is on the general prescribing schedule so is subsidised on the PBS in a quantity of 100 tablets of 10mg or 25mg strength with up to 5 repeats on a script.
Healthcare card holders will pay the usual standard cost of a prescription item, currently $6.30.
People without a healthcare card will pay more, depending on the pharmacy. The cost in Australia in 2016 varies between $15-25 for a bottle of 100x10mg tablets and $25-36 for a bottle of 100x25mg tablets. Discount pharmacies have the cheaper prices, often as little as half the cost of other pharmacies.
The chemist will dispense the PBS authorised amount of 100 tablets per script. So the actual cost of baclofen treatment will depend on what dose is being taken and this varies widely.
For a patient on 30mg/day of baclofen, a bottle of 100 tablets is a month’s supply but only two weeks worth for someone on 60mg/day. Baclofen is available in 10 and 25mg tablets so if the baclofen dose is in the higher range, the 25mg tablets are used to reduce the number of tablets per day and therefore the cost.
Both the 10mg and 25mg tablets can be broken in half to allow smaller changes in baclofen dose. At the start of balcofen treatment, the dose is 5mg ie half of 10mg tablet and the dose increases are 5mg at a time.
Patients on higher doses using the 25mg tablets can use half a 25mg ie 12.5mg as a near equivalent to 10mg. This saves them from needing to have 10mg and 25mg tablets.
In my experience, patients don’t find baclofen expensive, especially compared to alcohol. And the cost of alcohol is not just measured by money.