Unprecedented Price Gouging
On November 18, 2008, Pharmalot reported that Cephalon had raised the price on Provigil by 28% since March 2008. The drug was then 74% more expensive than four years earlier, with an average wholesale price of $8.71 per pill.
The price hikes were in preparation for the expected launch of Nuvigil in 2009. By sharply raising prices, Cephalon hoped to convert patients to Nuvigil before cheap generic versions of Provigil came on the market.
A year later, Dow Jones reported that in November 2009, Cephalon had raised the price on Provigil by 29%, to $13.62 a pill, and that the cost of Nuvigil, launched in June 2009, with patent protection until 2023, was $8.98 per tablet. Five years earlier, "Provigil's cost was $5.53 per pill," Dow Jones noted on December 22, 2009.