Shingrix is a brand-name vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to prevent shingles (herpes zoster) in people:
- ages 50 years and older
- ages 18 years and older who are at increased risk of shingles
Note: Shingrix is not meant to be used as a vaccine for preventing chickenpox.
For more information about Shingrix’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about Shingrix, which is a biologic:
- How it’s given: intramuscular injection in single-dose vials
- Biosimilar version: not available
Shingrix is a type of inactivated vaccine. This means Shingrix is a vaccine made from a killed version of the varicella zoster virus.
Read on to learn about Shingrix and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
As with all medications, the cost of Shingrix can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
- the cost of the visit to your healthcare professional to receive doses of Shingrix
- whether Shingrix has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of the Shingrix vaccine 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 Shingrix. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Shingrix 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 Shingrix requires prior authorization.
Shingrix contains a killed (inactivated) version of the varicella zoster virus, 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 biologic 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 Shingrix, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called GSK For You is available for Shingrix. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 888-825-5249 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 Shingrix.
Is there a Shingrix coupon available to help lower the drug’s cost?
To find the cheapest or best price for the Shingrix vaccine, check out this site from the vaccine’s manufacturer. Based on whether you have insurance through a private company or the government — or whether you plan to pay out of pocket — it will refer you to the best place to get the Shingrix vaccine for the lowest cost.
According to the drug’s manufacturer, Shingrix is typically covered by insurance. Most people with private insurance typically don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for Shingrix doses.
If you have questions about lowering the cost of Shingrix for you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What’s the cost of the Shingrix vaccine with Medicare?
According to the drug’s manufacturer, Shingrix is covered under Medicare Part D. Most people with Medicare Part D pay less than $50 per Shingrix dose.
If you have Medicare Part D, you’ll likely need to get your Shingrix dose at a pharmacy. Most doctor’s offices aren’t able to bill Medicare Part D for vaccines, including Shingrix.
Talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider if you’d like to learn more about the cost you may pay for the Shingrix vaccine.
How much does Shingrix cost without insurance?
How much Shingrix costs without insurance will vary from person to person. The cost of Shingrix is influenced by factors such as the doctor’s office or pharmacy you use to get the vaccine.
Talk with your pharmacist or doctor to learn more about the out-of-pocket price you may pay for Shingrix.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Shingrix, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Shingrix. However, if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Shingrix.
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.
- Save money. Explore this article for tips about how to save money on prescriptions.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Shingrix, refer to this article.
- Information about your condition. For more information about shingles, see our list of shingles 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.