Ordering olmesartan (Benicar)

There is no substitute for olmesartan (Benicar). Patients buy or obtain olmesartan in a number of ways. If their insurance covers the medication, they may fill the prescription at a local pharmacy or via their insurance carrier's mail order service. Others obtain Benicar or its generic equivalent through mail order, often ordering three months' supply at a time.

There is no evidence to suggest that the generic version of Benicar, such as Olmecip, is inferior. Patients who like to be cautious, however, may prefer the brand name drug, which tends to be about five times more expensive for patients who are paying out of pocket.

Patients are warned not to order Benicar HCT, which contains a diuretic.

For those who cannot afford the cost of olmesartan, certain patient assistance programs are available.

Brand name vs. generic olmesartan

Brand name olmesartan is known as Benicar. Manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Benicar is usually more expensive than generic olmesartan. The Benicar manufactured by Sankyo has an identification stamp on the tablet saying “C15” for the 40mg tablets or “C14” for the 20mg tablets. The stamp “Sankyo” is on the other side of these tablets.

Olmecip, a widely sold generic form of olmesartan, is less expensive than brand-name Benicar.

Brand name olmesartan is available in at least the following countries (regionalized brand names are included in parentheses): Australia (Olmetec), Austria (Olmetec, Mencord), Belgium (Olmetec, Belsar), Canada (Olmesartan), Cyprus (Olartan), Czech Republic (Olmetec, Sarten), Denmark (Olmetec, Benetor), Germany (Votum, Olmetec, Olmes), Greece (Olmetec, Olartan), Finland (Olmetec, Benetor), France (Olmetec, Olmes, Alteis), Iceland (Olmetec, Benetor), Ireland (Benetor, Omesar), India (Olmesartan,olmesava, Olmo), Italy (Olmetec, Plaunac, Olpress), Japan (Olmetec), Luxembourg (Olmetec, Belsar), Malta (Omesar), Netherlands (Olmetec), Norway (Olmetec, Benetor), Poland (Olmetec, Revival), Portugal (Olmetec, Olsar), Slovenia (Tensiol), Spain (Olmetec, Openvas, Ixia), USA (Benicar), and UK (Olmetec).

Brand name olmesartan is not available in: Cambodia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Africa.

A number of pharmacies sell a generic form of olmesartan called Olmecip. Olmecip comes in blister packs and is manufactured by Cipla Ltd., which is based in India. Olmezest is another form of generic Benicar.

Based on patient response, there is no evidence to indicate that Olmecip or any other generic is inferior. Olmecip smells differently, but this is due to it having a different binder formulation than the olmesartan made by Sankyo. Also, Olmecip dissolves more quickly, a benefit for MP patients when using frequent dosing.

Newer olmesartan generics include Olmesar and Olvance. If you take Olmesar, be sure to avoid Olmesar-A (contains amlipodine) and Olmesar-H (contains HCT).

Sources of olmesartan

For those patients who wish to buy generic Benicar – that is, olmesartan medoxomil – there are a number of online pharmacies. Please note:

  • Many pharmacies listed here will ship internationally.
  • If the drugs are sold in an unfamiliar currency, an online universal currency converter is available.
  • A pharmacy representative may follow up with a phone call after an order has been placed.
  • Note that the listing of these or any other providers should not be construed as an endorsement.
  • Try PharmacyChecker.com to simultaneously search multiple pharmacies.

North America based

Prices last updated December 24, 2008.

Source Price Shipping Contact Info Notes
Northwest Pharmacy 120 tablets, 40mg olmesartan for $77.33
90 tablets, 40mg olmesartan for $58
Worldwide free shipping in U.S. Phone: 1-866-539-5330, 1-604-539-5330 (int'l); Fax: 1-866-539-5331, 1-604-539-5331 (int'l); Email British Columbia based; orders take two to three weeks
Planet Drugs Direct 90 tablets, 40mg olmesartan for $58 Canada free shipping in U.S. Phone: 1-888-791-3784, 1-832-615-2887 (int'l); Fax: 1-800-858-2895, 1-702-995-6152 (int'l); Email Texas based; ships three months at a time; orders take about three weeks
Canada Generic 90 tablets, 40mg olmesartan for $49 Canada shipping in U.S. is $9.99 Phone: 1-800-258-0861; Fax: 1-888-337-0566; Contact form British Columbia based
La Pharmacie Obonsoins Yetvart Paylan prices not available Canada shipping in Canada is $15 Phone: 514-382-5921; Fax: 514-382-5415; Email Quebec based; one patient's advice: fax script, credit card, and mailing address; then, mail in script; then email in monthly requests for refills
Glebe Pharmasave Apothecary Pharmacy prices unavailable Canada Phone: 1-800-461-4697; 613-234-8587; Fax: 1-877-504-5995; 613-236-0393; Email Ontario based
North Drug Mart 90 tablets, 40mg olmesartan for $98 Canada $9.99 shipping in Canada Phone:1-866-600-9222; Fax: 1-866-600-9333; Contact form Ontario-based
International Pharmacy 90 tablets, 40mg Benicar (non-generic) for $228 Worldwide Phone: 650-573-6200; Fax: 650-573-6400; Email California-based

Europe based

Prices last updated December 24, 2008.

Source Price Shipping Contact Info Notes
Pharmacy International no prices available GermanyWorldwide ships internationally; no prescription required Phone: +49 40 41 45 59 61; Fax: +49 40 280 25 18; Email Germany-based; faxed prescription is required
Cofgi no prices available SpainWorldwide Phone: +34 972 291 824; Fax: +34 972 20 74 53; Email Spain-based; se habla español
MedStore International 90 40mg tablets for $59.95 SpainWorldwide Phone: 1-866-755-1782 or 1-800-420-8226; Fax: 1-800-420-8226 Email for inquiries, Email for prescription Spain-based

Australia based

Source Price Shipping Contact Info Notes
Compoundia no prices available Australia Phone: 03-9670-2882; Fax: 03-9670-9615; Email phone/fax/email script; send script; mailed via Platinum Post, which requires a person to sign for it; generally takes about a week from initial order

Olmesartan is an unrestricted benefit on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australia, meaning that its cost is subsidized by the federal government, and its use is not restricted to a particular condition. At last check, the price of PBS scripts is capped at around $30 and around $4.95 for concession card holders. Unrestricted benefit means that one need not have hypertension to qualify for the subsidy.

There is minimal point in getting a PBS script for 30 tablets for $30 as this is pretty close to the private price. However, an “authority script” can get a patient 120 tabs for $30. Authority scripts are provided by one's doctor. Doctors are advised to include a diagnosis for hypervitaminosis D if a patient has high levels of 1,25-DPrimary biologically active vitamin D hormone. Activates the vitamin D nuclear receptor. Produced by hydroxylation of 25-D. Also known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcitirol.. Patients should ask for one month's supply with six refills.

New Zealand

Note on customs from a New Zealand patient:

Customs will return the package to sender without informing you if you have ordered more than three-months supply at 40 mg per day. Three options:

  • get your GP to import the medication for you (best option – as there are no restrictions for doctors)
  • order only 98-tablets per time
  • talk to MedSafe and get them to approve you as an importer – you will need to provide heaps of documentation from your GP for this one

Guss Wilkinson, MarshallProtocol.com

Restrictions on size of order

The amount a given country's customs allows varies according to the country. Many countries allow only three months of olmesartan or any other drug to be shipped at one time. Orders that are too big may be seized or delayed by customs. International Pharmacy provides a fairly comprehensive country by country list of guidelines for importing.

Financial help for buying olmesartan/Benicar

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance lists programs, which can help patients obtain Benicar among other medications. An easy to use “wizard” interface points patients to the drugs for which they might be eligible to receive assistance. Note that the Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to ignore Internet solicitations that charge a fee (up to $195) for information on free or low-cost prescription drug programs.

Sankyo's Open Care Program

One of the most frequently used programs is Daiichi Sankyo's Open Care Program.

The Daiichi Sankyo Inc. Open Care Program is available to qualified patients with demonstrated medical and financial need. The program assists patients who are prescribed Daiichi Sankyo Inc. products covered by the program and are uncertain of their insurance coverage in locating alternative payment sources. Free product is provided to uninsured patients who qualify and for whom no alternative source of reimbursement can be identified. Patients must reside in the United States and have a U.S. treating physician.

The physician's office must apply on behalf of a patient. Applications are available from Daiichi Sankyo Inc. representatives or from Daiichi Sankyo Inc. Open Care Program hotline - 1-866-268-7327 (or online). Upon receipt and approval of a completed application, all patients will receive a supply (the amount depends on the product) of medication, which will be shipped to the physician's office on the patient's behalf. Patients who remain on therapy will complete reimbursement counseling to identify alternative sources of insurance. Patients without alternative sources of insurance will continue to receive free product. Periodic reviews of applications will be conducted to ensure continued eligibility.

Daiichi Sankyo

Contact information for the program is as follows:

Daiichi Sankyo Inc. Open Care Program, PO Box 8409, Somerville, NJ 08876

Patients experiences

I spoke with a supervisor and was told my expected Benicar prescription was returned to my doctor because I sent it too early! My prescription for the last quarter was delayed several weeks partly because I forgot to ask my doctor to send the script at the proper time, then that one was rejected because I failed to send a new application and tax return, (which is required on an annual basis).

By the way, do not wait for them to ask for the annual re-application, they are way too busy with all the other paper shuffling they do to expect them to do it. They are also way too busy to actually hold your request, should you attempt to send it before 45 days has expired since you received your last shipment…. Apparently I could have re-submitted the request a week or two ago, but since I didn't, and they apparently tossed the early one, I lose that time until they receive another script and application from my doctor by mail.

So, by the previous year's timetable, I submitted my script early enough to receive the package on September 1. I waited until now to follow up, and I was informed that since I was tardy submitting my tax return, (they only tell you that when you wonder why you didn't get the last package on time) the clock starts ticking again, once I finally received the belated package of Benicar, which was only one month's worth for three months (new policy).

Lesson learned: don't expect them to track anything for you. You must submit your script request no sooner than 45 days after your last shipment, and if you are late, too bad, you miss out on those days, and you have to wait the required 45 days before you dare make your next request. Also remember to submit your income info and a new application every year. I don't know for sure but if you accidentally send it a day or two early, they might just reject it and send it back to your doc!

Note: I had been receiving 4 x 40mg Benicar per day, after jumping through many hoops a year ago. The last quarter, they (without any notice) limited my dose to one Benicar per day.

John Dresser, MarshallProtocol.com

I was running short on olmesartan due to some logistics and decided to place an extra order from United Pharmacies. It had been my experience that their deliveries were quicker by two weeks so I place my order. Further, UP also had a different brand as an alternative to my normal choice of Olmecip (it was also cheaper).

This brand was “Olmo,” and it is also manufactured in India. As usual, I got delivery in two weeks and for curiosity sake decided to try the new brand. My IP reaction using Olmo at q4h dosing was similar to my earlier IP reaction at q3h of using Olmecip (my one month high frequency test), namely higher IP, especially neuro IP. There was also a little higher physical IP (predominantly muscle IP).

In addition, I noticed that there was an ever so slight buttery sense with Olmo, whereas Olmetec does not have that. The Olmo pill carrier is all aluminum versus the Olmecip is aluminum and plastic, if that is of interest.

The point is that the two products were different for some reason, with Olmo seeming to have a 30% higher effectiveness. For what its worth for an anecdotal report. So, there maybe other sources of variability in member experiences.

mvanwink5, MarshallProtocol.com

Prescription Hope

Prescription Hope is a charity that will supply medications for the financially distressed. To qualify, one must have an income under $21,800 as a single and $31,000 as a couple. There might be some consideration if one was not too far over and had kids, or another chronically ill person in the family, etc.

Thanks to a couple of wonderful ladies in Iowa and Minnesota, they had the MP meds included in a Lyme Disease meds list they created. It takes a bit of time to get the patient on stream. However, once in the system, one gets their prescriptions sent directly to them for $7.00/script/per month (yes the decimal is in the right place). Meds can be added or changed once in the system without delays.

Mr Bill, MarshallProtocol.com

Patients experiences

Here's my list of overseas online pharmacies where you can buy Benicar sorted by price per 40mg tablet along with shipping charges per order to the U.S.:

Prescription-required sites:

No-prescription-required sites:

<html><!– Not responsive according to B. Jackson –PA 09/08/2011 * https://www.healthychoicepharmacy.com 90/$93.16 $1.03 ($10.00) –></html>

Gary, c. 2009, MarshallProtocol.com

Dr Reddy's Laboratory olmesartan generic brand mentioned by pgeek is named Olsertain which is what I am using. Its maximum retail cost in India for Olsertain is 52rs for 10 40mg tablets, which converts to about $1us for 10 tablets ($18us for 180 tablets). I compared it to the other two brands Olmecip and Olmo that I have used and found no discernible difference, YMMV. Olmecip from Northwest Pharmacy delivered to US is $101us for 180 tablets. Best regards Mike

Mvanwink5, MarshallProtocol.com

===== Notes and comments =====

From https://invivoblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/branded-drug-prices-on-up-and-up.html … Prices increase generally in January, with another possible rise in July each year

* I emailed a bunch of these pharmacies and I'm waiting to hear back about which countries they ship to.  --- //Paul Albert 2008/12/26 21:56//
* Also, I got to figure out how Medicare fits in. 

Other programs may provide the antibiotics, through the drug companies that make them or through state assistance or through low-income clinics. One place you can check for help is this site about patient assistance programs.

Medicare prescription program

See this thread for information on how to get Benicar and other MP meds covered through Medicare.

Include this somewhere: To maximize your medication insurance benefit

To maximize your medication insurance benefit, ask your doctor to prescribe the highest number of clindamycin capsules s/he feels comfortable with. Clindy comes in 75, 150 and 300mg capsules. Generic is fine.

It is ordered up to 450mg every six hours for an acute infection so an insurance company will not question if a large number is ordered.

Your prescription should simply read, “Take as directed”. One option is ninety 150mg capsules, another is sixty 300mg capsules. This is assuming you are able to divide the capsules into 150mg doses or smaller if needed.

Or Doc can write a prescription for an amount, dose and schedule that would be standard, such as 40 150mg caps, 'take one capsule every 6hrs for 10 days'. Or clindamycin 150mg four times a day for 10 days (that works out to 40 capsules).

There are usually no refills ordered with this type of prescription.

An insurance company should cover prescriptions written this way without any questions.

Liquid Clindy

It's fine to take a liquid preparation of clindamycin. The pediatric form is called Cleocin and comes in flavored granules for oral solution 75mg per 5 ml. Your pharmacist can instruct you on how to mix it and how long the solution would be good after it's been mixed. Ask for an oral syringe so you can measure out 2.5ml for a dose of 37.5mg which is what your doctor recommended that you start with.

You probably won't need this dosing for long so you should ask Doc to write it for a smaller amount unless your insurance covers your meds.

Some members have complained about the taste of liquid Clindy.

Compounding clindy

A compounding pharmacy will make up capsules in whatever size clindy you need, including 37.5 which equals 1/4 a clindy which is the starting dose for phase 3.

Since you will be increasing the dose, if you initially get 100/month you can double and triple them until you are up to the maximum 150 mg.

If your prescription calls for a higher dosage, the compounding pharmacist can call the doctor to authorize the lower dose.

Europe based section: for 1st pharmacy says no prescription needed, then says faxed prescription needed…?

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