For people with opioid use disorder (OUD) , Suboxone® is the gold standard for treatment (important safety information). This buprenorphine-naloxone combination medication helps control withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while also lowering the risk of overdoses. It enables people to manage their symptoms in the long term.
Yet, for many people pursuing treatment for OUD, the unknown cost of suboxone is often perceived as a barrier. Costs vary based on several factors, but there are ways to receive assistance regardless of what type of health insurance you have, or even if you don’t have any at all. Here’s what you should know about typical Suboxone price points and how to find the medication as affordably as possible.
How much does Suboxone cost?
The cost of Suboxone is not a one-size-fits-all model. There are several variables that can affect the price of the prescription. Some key variables include:
- Dispensing schedule: Suboxone is available in tablet and film form. Both are sublingual, which means they must be dissolved in the mouth and will produce similar results. But some individuals find that one form works better for them than the other.
- Number of prescribed pills: Typically, consumer goods have a lower unit price when sold in higher volumes. Therefore, you might expect to pay less per pill or strip if you’re prescribed a pack of 60 versus a 14-unit pack. But this isn’t always the case with prescription medications, especially not controlled substances. Instead, doctors prescribe quantities based on individual needs. Because Suboxone is a controlled substance, doctors will never fill out a prescription for a greater number than what a patient would require.
- Prescription strength: Suboxone is available in a range of strengths, and while this can influence price, there isn’t always a direct correlation. In some pharmacies, a higher dosage may actually be lower than a lower dosage, so it may be more affordable to ask for a prescription that could be split into two doses, if possible.
- Location: Even in the same geographical area, the costs of Suboxone can vary dramatically from one pharmacy to the next. In general, chain and big box stores are often able to offer lower Suboxone price points than smaller pharmacies.
What are the trends in cost?
Factors such as improved access to evidence-based medications for opioid use disorder and increased flexibility due to telehealth could be partially responsible for the increased demand, and thus the decreased price, of the medication. Yet, there are still disparities in pricing for various populations: people with Medicaid or Medicare pay the least for the prescription, while those with private or commercial insurance pay more. People who are uninsured and must self-pay face the highest costs.
As of 2020, statistical data shows that the mean out-of-pocket cost for Suboxone decreased from $4.79 in 2015 to $1.91 in 2020. People with Medicare and Medicaid paid 10 cents per day in 2020 for the prescription on average, while people with private and commercial insurance paid $1.82 per day. Self-pay costs were $8.44 per day on average.
How much Is Suboxone without insurance?
The price of the medication without insurance depends on whether the doctor prescribes tablets or strips. It’s estimated that strips can cost up to $600 a month, with the highest doses averaging about double that amount (it’s rare for a doctor to prescribe a higher dose).
Uninsured patients can expect to pay less for a month’s supply of tablets. Costs range from $90 to $240 for lower doses, and $360 to $480 for higher doses.
How can you reduce the cost of Suboxone?
Medication costs can add up, but they should never be a barrier that prevents you from pursuing recovery. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to save, regardless of whether you have insurance or not.
Enroll in a manufacturer assistance program
Some insurance companies partner with pharmaceutical makers to provide consumers with more opportunities to access self-pay medication or cover their copayments. Many of these manufacturers offer discount cards, which are often available for free online.
In some cases, drug manufacturers may also offer assistance programs to help uninsured or low-income patients afford their medications. Some patients may even qualify for up to a year’s worth of medications for free.
Look for third-party coupons
Several websites offer coupons for Suboxone discounts. GoodRX®, ScriptSave® WellRX, and SingleCare® are a few options to consider. Some large pharmacy chains also offer coupons and savings clubs. AAA also partners with Good Rx to offer its members prescription discounts.
Talk to your provider
Discuss budgetary constraints with your provider to see if they can offer any options to help you save. For example, writing the prescription to be filled in tablet form could wind up costing less. They may also be able to prescribe a generic form of the medication for further savings.
The simplest and most straightforward way to save on Suboxone if you don’t have insurance is to turn to Ophelia. While we accept a growing number of insurers, we also offer a transparent cash option to connect you with the right support for $195 a month. We make sure you get the treatment you need, from convenient telehealth meetings with your care team to help finding the right Suboxone protocol. We’ll make sure you have access to your prescription and connect you with coupons and assistance programs to keep treatment affordable.