Avastin (bevacizumab) is a brand-name infusion that’s prescribed for certain types of cancer. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors, such as whether Avastin has a savings program.
Avastin is approved to treat the following types of cancer in adults, with or without other treatments:
- colon cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
- liver cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or can’t be removed
- certain types of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer after surgery has been performed
- cervical cancer that is persistent, is recurrent, or has spread to other parts of the body
- kidney cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
- recurrent glioblastoma
- non-small cell lung cancer
Avastin belongs to a drug class called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors. Avastin is available in biosimilar versions.
Read on to learn about Avastin and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions. If you’d like other information about Avastin, refer to this article.
As with all medications, the cost of Avastin can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your treatment plan
- your insurance coverage
- the cost of the visit to your healthcare professional to receive doses of Avastin
- whether Avastin has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Avastin will be for you, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
Below is information you may want to consider if you have insurance and receive Avastin.
Prior authorization. If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Avastin. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Avastin in regard to your treatment. The insurance company will then determine whether the medication is covered. If a drug requires prior authorization but you start treatment without the prior approval, you could pay the full cost of the medication. You can ask your insurance company whether Avastin requires prior authorization.
Type of insurance coverage. Avastin is given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. If you have insurance, the price of your Avastin doses may be billed through your medical coverage instead of the prescription drug portion of your insurance plan. This depends on your specific insurance plan and where you receive your Avastin doses, such as at your doctor’s office, an infusion clinic, or a hospital. If you have questions about this process, contact your doctor or your insurance provider.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Avastin.
How does the cost of Avastin compare with the cost of Lucentis?
Avastin and Lucentis (ranibizumab) are both drugs prescribed for certain eye conditions, such as macular degeneration. The cost of each drug can depend on several factors, such as the condition being treated.
Avastin is not approved to treat any eye conditions. However, your doctor may prescribe it off label for this purpose. With off-label use, your doctor prescribes a drug for a condition other than what it’s approved for.
It’s important to note that your insurance provider may not cover drugs prescribed for off-label uses. Or they may cover a lower amount. For this reason, Lucentis may cost less than Avastin to treat certain eye conditions.
For more information about how Avastin compares with Lucentis, see this article.
Is Avastin covered by Medicare?
It may be. Certain Medicare plans may cover the cost of Avastin. For example, Medicare Part B plans can cover the cost of certain doctor’s office visits. Because Avastin is administered by your doctor or a healthcare professional in their office, it may be covered under Medicare Part B.
To find out whether Avastin is covered by your Medicare plan, talk with your Medicare provider. For more information about Medicare and cancer treatments, see this article.
Avastin is a brand-name biologic drug that contains the active ingredient bevacizumab. It comes in several biosimilar forms, such as Alymsys (bevacizumab-maly), Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb), Vegzelma (bevacizumab-adcd), and Zirabev (bevacizumab-bvzr).
A biosimilar medication is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (the parent drug). Also, biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name medications.
WHY ARE COSTS DIFFERENT FOR BIOLOGIC DRUGS VS. BIOSIMILAR DRUGS?
Biologic drugs can be expensive because of the research needed to test their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a biologic drug can sell it for up to
12 years. When the biologic drug’s patent expires, multiple manufacturers can create biosimilar versions. This marketplace competition may lead to lower costs for biosimilars. Also, because biosimilars are very similar to biologic drugs, they don’t require the same costly testing.
If you need financial support to pay for Avastin, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- The Avastin Access Solutions program is available for this drug. This program offers resources for copay assistance and low- or no-cost medication. For more information and to find out if you qualify, call 888-249-4918 or visit the program website.
- Some websites provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services. Two such websites are:
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions with or without insurance, check out this article.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Avastin, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Avastin. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Avastin.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare prescription drug plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Avastin, refer to this article.
- Dosage. Learn about Avastin and dosage by viewing this article.
- Side effects. For details about Avastin’s side effects, see this article. You can also look at the Avastin prescribing information.
- A look at your condition. For more information about the types of cancer that Avastin is prescribed to treat, see our cancer hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.