Yervoy (ipilimumab) is a brand-name solution for intravenous injection. It’s prescribed for certain types of cancer, including melanoma, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors.

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

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

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

To save money on your Yervoy prescription, explore these Optum Perks coupons.

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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.

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Yervoy contains the active ingredient ipilimumab, 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 Yervoy, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:

  • A Co-Pay Assistance Program is available for Yervoy. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit the program website. There, you can schedule a call or chat with a representative to determine what financial assistance you may be eligible for.
  • 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 Yervoy.

Will receiving Yervoy along with other medications increase my cost?

It’s possible that your doctor may recommend that you receive Yervoy along with another medication, called nivolumab (Opdivo). In fact, Yervoy is always used with nivolumab (Opdivo) except in some cases when you’re using the drug to treat melanoma.

If you’re using both Yervoy and nivolumab (Opdivo), you may have additional questions about the costs of receiving two medications. It’s possible that your cost may be higher if you receive two medications. This is because you’ll need to be in your doctor’s office or hospital for a longer time period to receive two drugs. In addition, the cost of both drugs will be more than the cost of only one drug.

You may wish to discuss the ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) prices with your doctor before starting treatment. If you have concerns about the nivolumab (Opdivo) price, and you’re treating melanoma, it’s possible that your doctor may recommend only using Yervoy.

Before starting treatment, your doctor will discuss the costs of your treatment options with you. They may discuss the Yervoy and nivolumab (Opdivo) cost per month or cost per dose. They can also help discuss any financial assistance that may be available.

Is the Yervoy 50 mg price less than the Yervoy 200 mg price?

Yervoy comes in one strength of 5 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (mL) of solution. However, the drug is available in two different vial sizes:

  • 50 mg of drug in 10 mL of solution
  • 200 mg of drug in 40 mL of solution

The cost of the 50 mg vial size will likely be less than the cost of the 200 mg vial size. This is because there is less drug in the 50 mg vial. However, your doctor or pharmacist will calculate your dose and determine which vials are needed for your treatment.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or how much your medication may cost, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is Yervoy covered by Medicare?

It may be. You can call your Medicare plan provider to learn whether your particular plan covers the cost of this drug. There are many types of Medicare plans, so your coverage and what you pay for prescriptions will be based on your particular plan’s benefits.

The total price you pay for Yervoy may also depend on the cost of receiving infusions at your doctor’s office or clinic. You may also need to obtain prior authorization before your plan will cover the cost of this medication. In addition, you may need to receive Yervoy along with another medication called nivolumab (Opdivo), which may increase your cost.

Your doctor may also be able to provide information about your cost for Yervoy if you have Medicare.

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

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

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