Leqembi (lecanemab-irmb) is a brand-name infusion prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors, such as whether Leqembi has a savings program.
Read on to learn about Leqembi and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions. If you’d like more information about Leqembi, refer to this article.
As with all medications, the cost of Leqembi 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 healthcare professional to receive doses of Leqembi
- whether Leqembi has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Leqembi 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 Leqembi.
Prior authorization. If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Leqembi. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Leqembi 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 Leqembi requires prior authorization.
Type of insurance coverage. Leqembi is given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. If you have insurance, the price of your Leqembi doses 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 Leqembi 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 your insurance provider.
Leqembi contains the active drug lecanemab-irmb, 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). 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 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 receive Leqembi long term, you may be able to lower its cost.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor. They can advise whether you qualify for certain financial assistance options.
If you need financial support to pay for Leqembi, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- The Eisai Patient Support program is available for Leqembi. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 833-4-LEQEMBI (833-453-7362) 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 Leqembi.
Will Medicare cover my Leqembi treatments?
It’s possible. If you have Medicare, the amount you’ll pay for Leqembi depends on your specific plan. For example, Leqembi doses are given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. You’ll receive these doses in their office or at an infusion center. Medicare Part B may cover the cost of some drugs your doctor gives, such as Leqembi.
To find out your cost for Leqembi with Medicare, contact your Medicare provider. You can also ask your doctor about Medicare coverage for Leqembi. For more information about Leqembi and Medicare, see the “Next steps” section below.
Is the cost of Leqembi similar to the cost of Aduhelm?
Leqembi and Aduhelm (aducanumab-avwa) are both drugs that doctors may prescribe for Alzheimer’s disease. The cost of Leqembi or Aduhelm depends on many factors.
Both Leqembi and Aduhelm can only be given by a healthcare professional. However, Leqembi is given every 2 weeks, while Aduhelm is typically given every 4 weeks. This frequency may affect the total cost you pay.
In addition, the price of either drug also depends on whether you have insurance, as well as your specific insurance plan.
It’s important to note that each drug has a program that offers financial assistance for those who qualify. For details on Leqembi’s financial assistance program, see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section above. For more information about Aduhelm and cost, refer to this article.
To find out how much you’ll pay for Leqembi versus Aduhelm, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Leqembi, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Leqembi. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Leqembi.
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 Leqembi, refer to this article.
- Side effects. For details about Leqembi’s side effects, see this article. You can also look at the Leqembi prescribing information.
- Information about Alzheimer’s disease. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, which is a type of dementia, see our dementia hub.
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.