Modafinil now covered by insurance

post by James_Miller · 2012-09-26T00:15:34.355Z · score: 1 (26 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 13 comments

Modafinil is now being covered by at least one insurance company in Massachusetts under which it costs less than $1 for a 200 MG pill.  I predict a huge college black-market trade in the drug.

13 comments

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comment by evand · 2012-09-26T01:06:28.284Z · score: 10 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No link, no mention of what Modafinil is or why I should care, not even a name of the insurance company? You haven't even assigned a likelihood to your prediction, which leaves it unworthy of Predictionbook, never mind a LW post.

comment by James_Miller · 2012-09-26T02:16:09.658Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wikipedia link added, you should care if you had been considering using the drug but if you have then my post has immediate actionable value, I would rather not disclose the name of my insurance company, >50% for elite schools.

comment by gwern · 2012-09-26T01:15:23.295Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Indeed. Modafinil is already a somewhat popular study drug, so there may be no major increase from any price drop - not that I know how one would quantify uptake since college surveys tend to be one-offs...

comment by James_Miller · 2012-09-26T02:07:13.461Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is a huge black market in Adderall at my college but, to the best of my knowledge, none in Modafinil.

comment by knb · 2012-09-26T08:28:17.839Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Probably because Adrafinil is still unscheduled and essentially the same thing, nobody really is that worried about paying a premium for modafinil. I've been buying adrafinil for a little over 2 dollars per dose. Modafinil is better for everyday use (more liver stress with adrafinil) especially if you can get a scrip, but "study aids" are normally not taken every day anyway.

comment by wallowinmaya · 2012-09-27T13:22:52.411Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think you mixed up Adrafinil and Adderall.

comment by knb · 2012-09-27T17:59:01.981Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Lol no. Adrafinil is a prodrug of modafinil, currently unscheduled in the US. Adderall is extremely scheduled. ;)

comment by wallowinmaya · 2012-09-27T20:11:08.018Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yeah, I know that. Anyway, I misread your whole comment. My bad.

comment by thomblake · 2012-09-27T19:07:42.447Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Adderall is extremely scheduled.

Yeah, I'm not sure how someone could make that mistake, but then I'm used to seeing my prescription bag waiting for me with a big "IN THE SAFE" label on it.

comment by Nick_Tarleton · 2012-09-27T01:38:56.422Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is more expensive than some existing online sources, per gwern's writeup; it does avoid concerns about purity (reasonable) and legal risk (seemingly groundless).

comment by Protagoras · 2012-09-29T21:52:54.799Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Interesting. Due to ADHD, I've been prescribed modafinil, and I've been prescribed various amphetamines (including adderall). My own experience is that the modafinil seemed to stop working after a while; it definitely did not seem as helpful as the amphetamines. Of course I'm just one case, and there are any number of reasons my own self-observations could be unreliable, but the drug industry does have a history of frequently making unfounded claims about the superiority of more profitable new drugs over less profitable old drugs, so I'm always fairly skeptical of newish drugs anyway.

[additional note: I just checked gwern's writeup, and discovered that tolerance is apparently a known issue with modafinil; it's not just me.]

comment by AspiringRationalist · 2012-09-26T01:58:04.499Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Which insurer?

And only if you are diagnosed with narcolepsy, or will they cover it off-label?

comment by James_Miller · 2012-09-26T02:05:38.431Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You just need a prescription.