Azathioprine is a generic drug that’s prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions in adults. It’s available as the brand-name drugs Imuran and Azasan. The cost of azathioprine with and without insurance can depend on several factors, such as whether the drug has a savings program.
Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved azathioprine in adults to:
- reduce the signs and symptoms of active rheumatoid arthritis
- prevent rejection in renal homotransplantation, a procedure where a person’s kidney is relocated to a different area of the body
As with all medications, the cost of azathioprine can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use. It will also depend on the cost of the visit to your healthcare professional to receive doses of the intravenous (IV) form of azathioprine.
To find out what the cost of azathioprine will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider. Or look below in the next section to learn how much you can save by using an Optum Perks coupon.
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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.
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Azathioprine is a generic drug, which means it’s an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication. A generic drug is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
Azathioprine is available as the brand-name drugs Imuran and Azasan. If your doctor has prescribed azathioprine and you’re interested in using one of these drugs instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.
To find out how the cost of these brand-name drugs compares with the cost of azathioprine, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you take azathioprine long term, you may be able to lower its cost in the following ways.
Getting a 3-month supply
You may be able to get a 90-day supply of azathioprine. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Using a mail-order pharmacy
Azathioprine may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need financial support to pay for azathioprine, consider looking into websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:
These sites can provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and azathioprine.
How much does azathioprine cost with insurance vs. without it?
What you pay for azathioprine if you have insurance compared with what you’d pay without it depends on several factors.
Factors that could affect what you pay for this drug without insurance include:
- the quantity you’re prescribed (such as a 90-day or 30-day supply)
- whether you apply and qualify for any available savings programs
- your dosage and treatment plan
- the pharmacy you use
- the form of the drug you’re prescribed (such as the oral tablet or IV infusion)
These same factors may affect your price for azathioprine if you have insurance. But the price you pay with insurance will also depend on:
- your specific plan benefits
- any prior authorization requirements you have for drug coverage
To learn more about what you’d pay for azathioprine with or without insurance, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider (if you have one).
You can also visit Optum Perks* for price estimates for this drug when using coupons from their site. However, Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance benefits or copays.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Medical News Today.
Is azathioprine covered by Medicare?
It may be. You can call your Medicare plan provider to learn whether your particular plan covers the cost of this drug. There are many types of Medicare plans, so your coverage and what you pay for prescriptions will be based on your particular plan’s benefits.
The total price you pay for the intravenous form of azathioprine may also depend on the cost to receive infusions at your doctor’s office or clinic. You may also need to obtain prior authorization before your plan will cover the cost of this medication.
Your doctor may also be able to provide information about your cost for azathioprine if you have Medicare.
Below is information you may want to consider if you have insurance and receive azathioprine.
Prior authorization: If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers azathioprine. This means the company and your doctor will discuss azathioprine 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 azathioprine requires prior authorization.
Type of insurance coverage: The IV form of azathioprine is given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. If you have insurance, the price of your azathioprine infusion 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 azathioprine infusion, 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.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and azathioprine, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to azathioprine. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for azathioprine.
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.
- Save money: Explore this article for tips about how to save money on prescriptions.
- More details: For details about other aspects of azathioprine, refer to this article.
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.