Concerta (methylphenidate) is a brand-name extended-release oral tablet. It’s prescribed for ADHD in adults and some children. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors.

Concerta belongs to a class of drugs called stimulants. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

For more information about Concerta, see this article.

Concerta retail price
$90
Save up to $80 per fill off of the retail price
The retail price of Concerta is $90. Save up to $80 per fill off of the retail price.

As with all medications, the cost of Concerta can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:

  • your treatment plan
  • your insurance coverage
  • the pharmacy you use
  • whether Concerta has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)

To find out what the cost of Concerta 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.

To save money on your Concerta prescription, explore these Optum Perks coupons.

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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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Concerta contains the active drug methylphenidate. It’s available as the generic drug extended-release (ER) methylphenidate. 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.

If your doctor has prescribed Concerta and you’re interested in taking ER methylphenidate 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 this generic drug compares with the cost of Concerta, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

WHY ARE COSTS DIFFERENT FOR BRAND-NAME DRUGS VS. GENERIC DRUGS?

Brand-name drugs can be expensive because of the research needed to test their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell it for up to 20 years. When the brand-name drug’s patent expires, multiple manufacturers can create generic versions. This marketplace competition may lead to lower costs for generics. Also, because generics contain the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t require the same costly testing.

If you take Concerta 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 Concerta. 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

Concerta 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 Concerta, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:

  • A program called the Concerta Savings Program is available for this drug. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-955-7233 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.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Concerta.

How much does Concerta cost with insurance vs. without it?

What you pay for Concerta if you have insurance compared to 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

These same factors may affect your price for Concerta 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 Concerta 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.

How does Concerta’s cost compare with that of medications such as Adderall?

The price you would pay for Concerta versus that of Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) depends on various factors.

For instance, the form of the drug may affect its price. Concerta is available in an extended-release (ER) oral tablet, and Adderall is an ER oral capsule. The cost of a tablet versus a capsule may depend on your insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use.

There are additional factors that can affect your prescription cost, including:

  • the length of your treatment
  • whether there are payment assistance programs for your prescribed treatment
  • whether you’re paying out of pocket or have insurance

To learn more about the cost of Concerta compared with other treatments for your condition, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

To learn more about how other aspects of Concerta and Adderall compare, see this article.

Below is information you may want to consider if you have insurance and receive Concerta.

If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Concerta. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Concerta 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 Concerta requires prior authorization.

Now that you’ve learned about cost and Concerta, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Concerta. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Concerta.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful:

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.