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Why Is Modafinil So Expensive? 5 Tips to Save Buying Nootropics

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News about modafinil beneficial effects is impressive. It’s a “smart pill” used by all types of personnel – from top CEOs, students, professionals to factory workers – to foster their cognitive function & to boost productivity. It’s primarily prescribed to those affected by sleep disorders to promote wakefulness. Most of the brand-name drugs that treat various health problems are very expensive. This is the case of modafinil. People prescribed this “smart pill” might find it difficult to meet the high cost of the brand-name med – Provigil®.

Why Is Modafinil So Expensive

There might be various reasons why modafinil is so expensive. Should you know? If that’s your concern, let its high cost not disrupt your shopping experience anymore. Thanks to the Indian pharmaceutical companies that break the norm & make similar modafinil drugs that address the cost.

Alongside getting cheaper modafinil from these manufacturers, let’s address the reasons ascending to the high cost of Provigil and acquaint with the best tips to save more money in the process of buying a nootropic from various online pharmacies that are legitimate & reliable.

What Is Modafinil?

Modafinil is an active ingredient used in Provigil® medicine. It is a waking drug, or a eugeroic, prescribed to narcolepsy patients or individuals affected by sleep disorders, but its usage among healthy people is increasing to foster their alertness or to mitigate fatigue. Modafinil improves excessive sleepiness & illness severity in all three disorders for which it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), i.e., shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), narcolepsy, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with residual excessive sleepiness.

It is also well described in the literature that modafinil enhances function in several cognitive domains as well as work memory & episodic memory. Its effects on memory have also been described in psychiatric patients, suggesting that it is an excellent candidate agent that’s ideal for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric disorders [1]. Besides, clinical research shows that modafinil improves symptoms in patients with major depression, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia (a disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, & behaves) [2].

The mechanism of action of modafinil is poorly understood by researchers. However, it is known that it has an important effect – increasing the synaptic availability of neurotransmitters like catecholamines, glutamate, serotonin, monoamines, orexin, adenosine, noradrenaline, and histamine systems in the brain [3]. Besides, other studies show that modafinil inhibits the dopamine transporter, boosting the dopaminergic neurotransmission in the vigilance circuits [4][5].

Modafinil Smart Drugs

Provigil® was first manufactured by Cephalon, a drug company that was later bought by an American Israeli pharmaceutical giant by the name Teva Pharmaceuticals. The latter worked hard to keep modafinil under patent and went to lengths to pay other global pharmaceutical companies not to manufacture generics once the patent expired. This was a long time ago [6].

The patent worked for a while, but there are countries such as India where the United States patents are not respected. The biggest Indian pharma – Sun Pharmaceuticals – has been manufacturing extremely cheap generic modafinil for a very long time. In 2015, the last patent on modafinil expired. This means any modafinil you buy should in theory be just as good as brand name Provigil as long as it’s manufactured by companies that adhere to drug safety and strict manufacturing process.

Why Are Modafinil Drugs So Expensive?

You might have purchased the too expensive Adderall medication used to treat ADHD & narcolepsy (just like modafinil) as well as taken by healthy individuals as a cognitive enhancer. Now that Adderall is very expensive, like similar meds, are modafinil drugs also costly? Or why does Provigil®, the brand-name med made using modafinil active ingredient, cost more than generic versions?

There are a few possible reasons for this. First, Cephalon, Inc., the manufacturer of Provigil®, has to conduct various complicated processes known as clinical trials to prove that its new drug is safe & works the way it’s supposed to without causing serious health problems.

Carrying out these tests is very expensive, and the manufacturer is forced to pass on some of these costs to the consumer by putting the price of the medicine higher.

Clinical drug trials are pretty hard to do. As said, the pharmaceutical company needs to do multiple lab tests followed by several rounds of animal testing, mostly rats, and then on to phases 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials involving humans that can span for more than 2–6 years. Each time the company starts a new drug trial, it needs to be reviewed by ethics committees organized by pharmaceutical specialists in the pharmaceutical field, and then thousands of human test subjects are needed to be vigorously screened & tested.

Tablets Price

It’s easy to say but hard to carry out. At any point in the process, there are two things to expect: either the study findings could come back negative, pushing the medicine research team back to the very beginning, or the outcome turns positive, signaling a “go ahead” to the final processes.

The process of developing a final approved drug is often in the realms of hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a lot of money, and that’s why Provigil® is very expensive.

If you want to know more about factors the pharmaceutical pricing team considers, acquaint yourself with this article: Generic Modafinil vs. Provigil: Why I Prefer Generics. It explains why the original manufacturer chooses to put the cost higher to remain profitable, especially if treating rare conditions.

Another reason for the high cost also accumulates to the initial drug marketing and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), FDA, or other governmental approvals. When a pharmaceutical company creates a new med (in this case, Cephalon, Inc.), it applies for a patent on it to protect its intellectual property for the next 10–20 years. Patent protection prevents any other pharmaceutical company from manufacturing its drugs – commonly known as generics.

Cephalon, Inc. no longer holds the exclusive patent rights to manufacture other versions of modafinil. The pill was first approved for medical use in the US in 1998 [7], but its patent came to an end in 2015. However, once the patents expire, other companies can apply to manufacture the medicine as a generic. While Provigil® is only sold by its manufacturer, several pharmaceutical companies offer generics with the same active ingredient, which leads to higher competition in the marketplace, further lowering the costs for consumers.

Notably, modafinil is and was expensive because of anti-competitive pharmaceutical industry practices. However, generic modafinil medications typically cost about 75% to 95% less than the brand-name drug. According to the IMS Health Institute, generic meds saved the U.S. healthcare system $1.67 trillion from 2007 to 2016 [8].

Now that modafinil generics are cheap, are these drugs less effective? No, they aren’t. Generic meds are just as effective as brand-name meds. That’s all! According to the FDA, every drug maker must prove that its generic medications can be safely substituted for brand-name meds & offer the same benefits as their branded counterparts.

Simply, in many cases, you can opt for a generic medicine rather than a brand-name type & get the same effect since alternatives are made to function the same way as the original drugs.

Take note that getting generic medicine from a reputable pharmaceutical company is safe. These meds are heavily regulated & must go through a rigorous review process before the investigating team approves it. The FDA carries complete drug testing procedures to make sure the drug offers the same benefits as the brand-name version & that any different ingredients used in making the generic version are safe. The drug governing body will also test other special requirements before it approves the medicine if it meets all these requirements for safety.

After the med is approved, the FDA routinely inspects the manufacturing plant where the medicine is made & monitors it for any safety concerns. If individuals taking a generic have bad reactions or serious negative effects, the FDA will investigate, & the drug maker may have to change how it manufacturers the drug or how it’s used.

Because there is generic availability, Big Pharma is under no pressure to lower the costs, and at the moment, there’s not enough demand for the medicine to get many competitors into the market to force prices down. The current generic modafinil manufacturers are enough to keep users enjoy the generic drug pricing.

Some Tips to Save Money When Buying Smart Pills

Save Money

Here’s the hypothesis: You visit your medical specialist, and they write you a prescription for Provigil®. You take the prescription to the local pharmacist only to find out that a generic version of the drug is available. Which one should you choose? In many cases, and with so many legit reasons, an alternative may be the better choice.

Below are some of the tips – offered by some e-drugstores – you can also use to save more.

Buy Generics from India

Some Indian companies like INTAS Pharmaceuticals, Healing Pharma, Sun Pharma, & HAB Pharma have stepped up to produce generic versions of the drug after Provigil® patent expiry. They have to pay for the Abbreviated New Drug Application (or ANDA) to make quality meds, but they don’t need to pay for all the drug’s development & clinical trial costs that have already been done. This saves hundreds of millions of dollars. They don’t have nearly the same level of investment in the manufacturing of the drug and can charge significantly less & still turn a profit.

For these companies to get approved to manufacture a generic medicine, they must produce the same dose using a similar active ingredient to the brand name product they are copying.

They’re also subject to the same drug quality assurance laws – just like any other pharmaceutical production facility does.

That’s the core reason why generic meds, although much cheaper, are virtually identical to the expensive brand-name counterparts – the Cephalon, Inc.’s Provigil® & Nuvigil® (a drug with armodafinil active ingredient).

The only difference between generics vs. brand-name drugs is in the price – which also varies by the pharmacy you choose and the method you use to buy the medication. While Provigil® costs about $30–$61 per tablet, Sun and HAB Pharmaceuticals sell their products for at least $0.79–$2.99 per tablet. That’s a huge saving – more than 90% cheaper!

We recommend the following cheapest modafinil vendors sourcing their meds from Indian manufacturers:

  • Commonly known as BMO, this vendor allows you to buy the desired nootropic online at a low cost. It was built to deliver generic modafinil by mail from India to your doorstep at fair prices and with excellent shipping;
  • (MXL). This vendor makes it easy and time-saving to complete modafinil purchase. It’s one of the most positively reviewed & the best e-pharmacies. ModafinilXL is one of the founding titans of the “buy modafinil online” movement. It has been around for a long time and has amassed a massive network of global customers. The best thing about this vendor is that it offers modafinil freebies (or trial samples) without spending a dollar – you only pay for delivery;
  • This drugstore was created to deliver generic modafinil and armodafinil safely to various countries globally. Like MXL nootropic e-drugstore, Afinil is also the top reputable pharmacy to purchase quality and authentic modafinil online at an affordable price;
  • This online pharmacy is best known as the #1 armodafinil vendor; however, modafinil is also available for sale. Its nootropics are offered at an affordable cost since they’re sourced directly from Indian pharmaceutical giants. This vendor also offers the best services by passing savings on to you! Save big & enjoy its lowest generic modafinil and armodafinil prices, compared to $40 per pill or more you could have paid at your local pharmacy;
  • Want to try free modafinil samples? Then this vendor is the best alternative to the aforementioned e-pharmacies. By reading all the details about this seller on its website, you will discover why it’s so popular and how easy to order trial nootropics by mail (without an Rx) from it. The vendor guarantees high quality of drugs and timely delivery without delay;
  • It’s easy to order nootropic pills online from this American-run modafinil vendor. Experience a 100% delivery guarantee -or get your money back from it. This vendor sells “smart drugs” produced by Sun & HAB Pharmaceuticals along with a few other products. These two companies are considered to be the gold standard for generic modafinil manufacturers;
  • (closed in 2020). Although this vendor is not as widely known as the aforementioned e-pharmacies, it allows the purchase of modafinil and armodafinil online easily and affordably. It also offers free delivery on all orders and reshipments/refunds for lost parcels;
  • This e-drugstore offers free express shipping on all the modafinil drugs you can order from it. It sends packages within 24 hours and offers full refunds in case of failed delivery.

You can find their quality products online and have them shipped to your door without getting a doctor’s prescription. Using these generic modafinil vendors has made it a lot more convenient to buy a nootropic & saves you a ton of money.

Order Nootropics in Bulk

As discussed, getting a cheaper nootropic vendor is the ideal route one can follow.


Apart from that, the discussed e-pharmacies further cut the cost of modafinil if ordered in bulk – up to less than a dollar per pill.

While going with generic modafinil is cheaper than taking a brand-name med, there is also a price variation depending on where you bought the pills, the type of generic (i.e., Modvigil, Artvigil, Modalert, Modawake, etc.), and the number of tablets.

Let’s see the prices for Modalert 200 mg from our reviewed e-pharmacies:

E-Drugstore Number of Pills Total Price Price per Pill
ModafinilXL 30 $69 $2.29
BuyModafinilOnline 30 $69 $2.29
BuyArmodafinil 30 $69 $2.29
FreeModafinil 30 $69 $2.29
Afinil 30 $69 $2.29
BuyModa 30 $69 $2.29
FoxDose 30 $65 $2.17
DinoSupplies 30 $89 $2.97

The idea of internet pharmacies can seem intimidating for those who aren’t regular online shoppers, but the potential savings can be worth the trouble of getting familiar with e-drugstores. It is easier and more convenient to do comparison shopping online rather than calling around to pharmacies or choosing the nearby local store.

Here are our bulk drug comparisons of Modalert 200 mg pill from the recommended e-pharmacies:

E-Drugstore Number of Pills Total Price Price per Pill
ModafinilXL 500 $449 $0.89
BuyModafinilOnline 1000 $899 $0.89
BuyArmodafinil 1000 $899 $0.89
FreeModafinil 1000 $899 $0.89
Afinil 1000 $899 $0.89
BuyModa 500 $449 $0.89
FoxDose 300 (+50 bonus pills) $299 $0.85
DinoSupplies 500 $549 $1.09

Buying “smart pills” in bulk is the most appropriate way to save more money. Bulk purchases are generally economical, but that isn’t always the case. There are also other considerations beyond the cost per pill. For example, you’re saving more on shipping fees or using the following customer-tailored price-reducing experiences.

Updated  : Modalert is currently not available for sale worldwide. The manufacturer has limited the export of this modafinil generic abroad, now Modalert 200 mg can be purchased if you live in India. Therefore, we suggest considering an excellent premium alternative – ModaXL 200mg by HOF Pharmaceuticals. You can order nootropic from reliable suppliers all over the world!

Use Your Loyalty Discount

Loyalty Discounts

The use of loyalty discounts is available from most e-pharmacies to encourage customers to get their products at favorable prices.

The recommended vendors have special offers for repeat guests. For example, ModafinilXL, BuyModafinilOnline, FreeModafinil, and BuyArmodafinil provide their returning customers with 10 extra modafinil pills for free. They also offer 20 additional modafinil pills for writing an honest review about them. At the Afinil e-pharmacy, buyers get $25 off their next order and $30 off if they leave a review after receiving a parcel.

Other e-pharmacies also have various discounts and offers to help their customers save more money on nootropics. To learn more about the options to cut the cost, check their websites for available information.

Find Out About Current Coupons

Apart from specific discounts, various vendors offer customer-tailored coupons that can be used to further reduce the cost of modafinil sale. Also, using coupons allows you to avail of products that seem to be too costly to be reached. Taking advantage of a coupon significantly helps you acquire items you want at a discounted price.

For example, MXL offers various coupons to help the buyer cut the cost of “smart pills” significantly. The following current coupons are available from this e-drugstore:

  • OFF20N for $20 off when spending $250 or more;
  • USD10 for $10 off sitewide (no minimum order amount);
  • MXLIMITLESS for $35 off when spending $500 or more;
  • N15USD for $15 off when spending $170 or more;
  • 30BUCKS for $30 off when spending $500 or more;
  • USD25N for $25 off when spending $360 or more.

Other e-pharmacies offer their specific way of helping customers save more. Make sure to check their websites for the availability of exclusive coupon codes.

Pay with Bitcoin

A majority of e-pharmacies allow their users to pay for orders with bitcoin (BTC). This crypto uses innovative technology to create an entirely new form of payment that’s very safe and easy to fulfill.

Because online shoppers can send & receive BTCs with only a computer or smartphone, BTC is theoretically available to various populations of global users without access to the old traditional banking systems, credit cards, & several other methods of payment. Also, BTC users are not subject to the traditional banking fees associated with fiat currencies. This means that there is no account maintenance or minimum balance fees, no overdraft charges, & there are no returned deposit fees, among many other charges.

Pay with Bitcoin

Our recommended modafinil vendors offer discounts as a means of promoting this payment method. From the list, select the best e-pharmacy that suits your purchase needs and get the following BTC discounts:

E-Drugstore BTC Discount
MXL 20%
BuyModafinilOnline 23%
BuyArmodafinil 21%
FreeModafinil 22%
Afinil 24%
BuyModa 20%
FoxDose 20%
DinoSupplies 20%

As you can differentiate, using the given discount from the pharmacy of your choice is the best step to take if looking for the best tips to save when buying a nootropic online.

This Can Be Avoided!

As the shopper, you can save a bundle by using the best e-pharmacy deals, tailored coupons, and discounts. This aspect can be a big money-saver in the Internet realms. For the case of generic modafinil, getting bulk orders and paying for it using bitcoin in addition to other price-reducing experiences allow you to save more money. From the given list, we recommend for its 24% (the highest) BTC discount.

In the end, we believe getting quality generic modafinil online is cheap and safe, especially if you know our helpful tips. Choose one of the recommended nootropic vendors and enjoy a flawless experience of buying modafinil medicine online. They’re legit and the most reliable platforms at the moment. By far, MXL is the #1 vendor known to a wider community of nootropic users.


  1. [Modafinil in psychiatric disorders: the promising state reconsidered]. By L. Joos, L. Docx, L. Schmaal, B. G. C. Sabbe, G. Dom. Published: 2010.
  2. Modafinil improves cognition and response inhibition in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. By Danielle C. Turner, Luke Clark, Jonathan Dowson, Trevor W. Robbins, Barbara J. Sahakian. Published: May 15, 2004.
  3. Modafinil: A Review of Neurochemical Actions and Effects on Cognition. By Michael J. Minzenberg & Cameron S. Carter. Published: August 22, 2007.
  4. Effects of Modafinil on Dopamine and Dopamine Transporters in the Male Human Brain. Clinical Implications. By Nora D. Volkow, MD, Joanna S. Fowler, PhD; Jean Logan, PhD, et al. Published: March 18, 2009.
  5. Dopamine Receptor Mediation of the Exploratory/Hyperactivity Effects of Modafinil. By Jared W. Young, Klaas Kooistra & Mark A. Geyer. Published: March 16, 2011.
  6. Teva Settles Cephalon Generics Case With F.T.C. for $1.2 Billion. By Rebecca R. Ruiz and Katie Thomas. Published: May 28, 2015.
  7. Modafinil. Retrieved: October 5, 2020.
  8. Generic Drugs: Questions & Answers. Why do generic medicines cost less than brand-name medicines? Content current as of: 06/01/2018.