Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to help certain adults manage their weight. The drug is used in combination with diet and exercise changes.
Specifically, Contrave is approved for people with:
- obesity, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2) or more
- a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or more and at least one weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure
Contrave contains two active ingredients: naltrexone and bupropion.
For more information about Contrave’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about Contrave:
- Drug form: extended-release oral tablet
- Generic version: not available
Read on to learn about Contrave and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions and find the lowest price.
As with all medications, the cost of Contrave can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your treatment plan
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
- whether Contrave has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Contrave will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Contrave. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Contrave 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 Contrave requires prior authorization.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Contrave.
How does Contrave’s cost without insurance compare to its price with insurance?
Contrave’s cost without insurance compared to its price with insurance depends on your treatment plan and other factors.
Your out of pocket cost may vary depending on your eligibility for a Contrave manufacturer coupon savings card. And the cost of Contrave may be different depending on whether it’s covered by insurance or not covered by insurance.
Ultimately, even if Contrave is covered by insurance, the cost varies based on savings programs, your insurance plan, your dosage, and where you fill your prescription.
You can read more about savings programs and ways to pay for Contrave in the “Ways to reduce long-term drug costs” and “Financial and insurance assistance” sections below.
Is a Contrave copay card available?
Yes, a Contrave copay card program is available for those who qualify. The manufacturer offers a coupon savings card, which is a type of copay coverage program that can lower the out of pocket cost of the drug.
If your insurance plan covers Contrave, the coupon savings card pays a portion of your copay. And even if you don’t have insurance coverage for Contrave, the coupon savings program helps lower the total out of pocket cost.
To find out if your insurance covers Contrave, contact your insurance provider.
You can also visit the manufacturer’s site or call them at 800-905-5576 for more information on eligibility requirements.
Contrave is only available as a brand-name drug. It doesn’t come in a generic version. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.
Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
Contrave contains a combination of two active ingredients: naltrexone and bupropion. These active ingredients are also available separately as generic drugs. In some cases, doctors might prescribe these drugs together for weight loss. This option may be a cheaper alternative to brand-name Contrave for some people. For more information about these drugs and if they come in forms and strengths that may be right for you, talk with your doctor.
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 Contrave 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 Contrave. 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
You may be able to lower the cost of Contrave by getting the drug through a specific mail-order pharmacy. The manufacturer of Contrave has a program called the CurAccess Program. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. To learn more, visit the manufacturer’s website or call 800-905-5576.
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 Contrave, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called CurAccess is available for Contrave, which can lower the cost of the drug if you use specific mail order pharmacies to get your prescription. The manufacturer of Contrave also has a Contrave Coupon Savings Program to lower the cost of Contrave if you use your own pharmacy. For more information about these programs and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 800-905-5576 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 Contrave, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Contrave. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Contrave.
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 Contrave, refer to this article.
- Information about weight management. For more information about managing your weight, our obesity hub, nutrition hub, and exercise and fitness hub might be 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.