Saphnelo (anifrolumab-fnia) is a brand-name IV infusion that’s prescribed for lupus in adults. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors, such as whether Saphnelo has a savings program.

Saphnelo is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the joints, blood vessels, organs, and skin.

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

  • your treatment plan
  • your insurance coverage
  • where you receive your infusion of Saphnelo
  • the cost of the visit to your healthcare professional to receive doses of Saphnelo
  • whether Saphnelo has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)

To find out what the cost of Saphnelo will be for you, talk with your doctor or insurance provider. Or look below in the next section to learn how much you can save by using an Optum Perks coupon.

Saphnelo contains the active ingredient anifrolumab-fnia, 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.


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

  • The AstraZeneca Access 360 Program is available for Saphnelo. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 844-275-2360 or visit the program website.
  • Saphnelo Patient Savings Programs are also available for Saphnelo. To find out more information, call 866-727-4635 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 Saphnelo.

How does Saphnelo’s cost compare with that of medications such as Benlysta?

Both Saphnelo and Benlysta are prescribed to treat SLE. The price you would pay for Saphnelo versus that of Benlysta depends on various factors, such as:

  • 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 Saphnelo compared with other treatments for your condition, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.

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

What you pay for Saphnelo 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 amount 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
  • where you receive your infusion of Saphnelo

These same factors may affect your price for Saphnelo 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 Saphnelo with or without insurance, talk with your doctor or insurance provider (if you have one).

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

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

Type of insurance coverage: Saphnelo is given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. If you have insurance, the price of your Saphnelo 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 Saphnelo 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.

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.