Keytruda is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat various advanced cancers in adults and some children. These cancers include certain types of bladder cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma. For a comprehensive list of these cancers and Keytruda’s uses, read this article.
Here are some details about Keytruda, which is a biologic:
- How it’s given: IV infusion
- Active ingredient: pembrolizumab, a type of immunotherapy
- Biosimilar version: not available
Read on to learn about Keytruda infusions and treatment cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
As with all medications, the price of Keytruda treatment 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 doctor’s office or hospital to receive your Keytruda doses
- whether Keytruda has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Keytruda per treatment will be for you, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
Note: Keytruda is given by a healthcare professional. If you have insurance, the price of your Keytruda doses may be billed through your primary health insurance instead of the prescription drug portion of your insurance. This depends on your insurance coverage and where you receive your Keytruda 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 insurance provider.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Keytruda.
What does Keytruda cost with and without insurance?
The cost of Keytruda with and without insurance varies from person to person. This is because Keytruda’s cost depends on several factors, including your treatment plan and your insurance coverage.
Brand-name drugs typically cost more without insurance. So if you do not have insurance, Keytruda’s cost may be higher for you.
If you’d like to learn more about what Keytruda may cost with and without insurance, talk with your insurance provider or your doctor. You can also ask a member of the oncology team at your doctor’s office or infusion clinic.
How can I determine the cost of Keytruda per dose, per month, and per year?
To determine the monthly cost or annual cost of Keytruda, talk with your doctor or insurance provider. They’ll be able to share more information about the costs of Keytruda. These costs can vary based on your treatment plan and insurance coverage, among other factors. (To learn more about these factors, see the “Keytruda price” section above.)
What’s the cost of Keytruda per vial?
The cost of Keytruda per vial will vary due to factors such as your insurance coverage.
If you’d like to learn more about the cost of Keytruda per vial, such as the Keytruda 100 mg price, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
Keytruda contains the active ingredient pembrolizumab, and it’s available only as a brand-name biologic drug. It doesn’t come in a biosimilar version.
A biosimilar medication is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (the parent drug). 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 Keytruda, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called The Merck Access Program is available for Keytruda. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 855-257-3932 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, check out this article.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Keytruda, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Keytruda. However, if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Keytruda.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. For information about Keytruda costs with Medicare, see this article.To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs in general, see these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- Save money. Explore this article for tips on how to save money on prescriptions.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Keytruda, read this article.
- A look at cancer. For more information on cancer, see our cancer hub and list of cancer and oncology 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.