Enbrel (etanercept) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat multiple types of inflammatory conditions.
Specifically, Enbrel is used to treat:
- ankylosing spondylitis in adults
- psoriatic arthritis in adults
- rheumatoid arthritis in adults
- plaque psoriasis in adults and children ages 4 years and older
- polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children ages 2 years and older
For more information about Enbrel’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about Enbrel, which is a biologic:
- Drug forms:
- single-dose vial, for use with needle and syringe
- single-dose prefilled syringe
- single-dose prefilled SureClick autoinjector
- single-dose prefilled cartridges (Enbrel Mini cartridges) for use with the AutoTouch reusable autoinjector
- multidose vial*
- Biosimilar versions:
- Erelzi and Erelzi Sensoready pen
Read on to learn about how much Enbrel costs, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
* This form of Enbrel is given by a doctor or healthcare professional at a doctor’s office or clinic.
As with all medications, the cost of Enbrel can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your treatment plan
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
- whether there is a generic or biosimilar version available
- the cost of the visit to your healthcare professional if you choose to receive doses of Enbrel at your doctor’s office or a clinic
- whether Enbrel has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Enbrel 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 Enbrel.
Prior authorization. If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Enbrel. This means the company and your doctor will first discuss how Enbrel may fit into your treatment plan. 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 Enbrel requires prior authorization.
Type of insurance coverage. Enbrel may be given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. You may also give yourself Enbrel injections at home. If you have insurance, the price of your Enbrel doses may depend on your insurance coverage and where you receive your dose. For example, it may be billed through your primary health insurance instead of the prescription drug portion of your insurance in some situations. 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 Enbrel.
How much does Enbrel treatment cost per month? What about the cost per year?
The cost of Enbrel treatment per month and per year depends on several factors.
These factors include:
- whether you have insurance coverage and your plan benefits
- the condition being treated and your treatment plan
- how you receive the doses (by a healthcare professional or by self-administration)
- whether you qualify for any cost savings programs
- whether you previously tried other drugs that are just as effective for your condition but cost less
To find out the cost per month and cost per year of Enbrel treatment, talk with your doctor or insurance provider (if you have one).
Keep in mind that the cost per month and cost per year may change if your treatment plan changes, depending on whether you are paying out of pocket or have insurance coverage.
What’s the cost of the Enbrel 50-mg injection?
The cost of an Enbrel 50-milligram (mg) injection can vary based on different factors, including the form of Enbrel you’re prescribed, your treatment plan, and whether you have insurance coverage.
The cost of an Enbrel 50-mg injection may differ based on the drug form that your doctor prescribes. For example, the cost of the Enbrel Mini prefilled cartridge for use with the AutoTouch reusable autoinjector may be different than the cost of the 50-mg single-dose prefilled syringe. The cost may also differ for the 50-mg prefilled SureClick autoinjector.
Additionally, the cost may depend on whether you receive your Enbrel dose from a healthcare professional or whether you give yourself the dose at home.
For more information about the cost of the Enbrel 50-mg injection, talk with your doctor. They can discuss your treatment plan and cost factors. And if you have insurance, you can ask your insurance provider about the cost of your medication.
What is Enbrel’s cost with insurance, compared with its cost without insurance?
Enbrel’s cost with insurance compared with the cost without insurance can vary depending on different factors. Typically, the cost with insurance is lower than the cost without insurance.
These factors include:
- your treatment plan (your dose)
- whether you have insurance or are paying out of pocket
- where you receive Enbrel (at home or at a doctor’s office or clinic)
- whether you’re eligible for any cost savings programs to lower the cost of Enbrel
To learn more about the cost of Enbrel with insurance compared with the cost without insurance, talk with your doctor or insurance provider (if you have one).
You can also read about cost savings programs in the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below.
Enbrel contains the active ingredient etanercept, and it’s available as a brand-name biologic drug. Enbrel is also available in two biosimilar versions (Erelzi and Eticovo). A biosimilar medication is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (in this case, Enbrel). 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 drugcan 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 take Enbrel 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 Enbrel. 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
Enbrel 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.
Amgen, the manufacturer of Enbrel, also participates in other programs that help those without insurance afford their medications. This includes the Amgen Safety Net Foundation. Visit the program website to learn more and find out if you qualify.
If you need financial support to pay for Enbrel, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called Enbrel Support is available for Enbrel. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 888-436-2735 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 Enbrel, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Enbrel. However, if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Enbrel.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Enbrel’s cost with Medicare, see this article. You can also 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 Enbrel, refer to this article.
- Dosage. Learn about Enbrel and dosage by viewing this article.
- Side effects. For details about Enbrel’s side effects, see this article. You can also look at the Enbrel prescribing information.
- Information about your condition. For more information about the conditions Enbrel treats, you can see our:
- Enbrel for psoriatic arthritis article and this list of psoriatic arthritis articles
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.