Cholesterol injections are just one of many medications that you can use along with other medical therapies to help lower your cholesterol.
As with any therapy that you begin for the first time, you may wonder how much a cholesterol injection costs and how these costs compare with other therapies. The answer can depend on many factors — including your insurance coverage, if you have insurance, and the specific type of cholesterol injection your doctor prescribes.
Keep reading to find out more about cholesterol injections, how much they can cost, and ways you may be able to save on cholesterol injection costs.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several injections that help lower cholesterol. These medications typically work by interfering in some manner with how the liver clears or makes cholesterol.
Several factors can affect how much the cholesterol shot costs, including:
- how often you receive the shots
- the type of medication prescribed
- what dosage you need
- your insurance coverage
Inclisiran (Leqvio) cost
Inclisiran (Leqvio) is a cholesterol-lowering injection that’s given every 6 months.
The suggested list price for Leqvio is $3,250 per dose, though prices may differ depending on the facility, location, and insurance negotiated rates. A 2022 research article found that a single dose can range in price from $3,191 to $6,782 per injection for the healthcare professional, though the cost for the person getting the injection may be higher.
Repatha needs to be injected anywhere from once every 2 weeks to once per month. The average cost per month for Repatha is $519.82. Most people do not pay this list price because their insurance helps cover the costs.
According to the Repatha site, rebate cards can also help lower Repatha injection costs to around $5 per month.
Alirocumab (Praluent) cost
Fewer Medicare plans cover Praluent compared with Repatha. In fact, only an estimated 54% of Medicare plans cover Praluent.
GoodRx reports that the average copay for Praluent with Medicare ranges from $28 to $533, while the prices for commercial insurance are about $500 per month.
Excessively high cholesterol levels put you at increased risk of potentially deadly cardiac events, such as a heart attack or stroke. A doctor will prescribe cholesterol injections if:
- Your cholesterol levels are dangerously high.
- Conventional therapies, such as statins, haven’t lowered your cholesterol.
Some genetic conditions can cause very high cholesterol levels, such as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). This condition can cause cholesterol levels that are
You may also be a good candidate for cholesterol injections if you have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) as well as high cholesterol. Having ASCVD means you’re at increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and high cholesterol levels can increase your risk.
Who isn’t a candidate?
Medications exist that you can take by mouth to lower cholesterol. Some of these medications, such as statins, tend to be much cheaper than cholesterol injections. As a result, doctors are more likely to prescribe oral medications as first-line medications for high cholesterol.
If you’re allergic to any of the components in cholesterol injections, you will not be a good candidate to receive medications. In this case, a doctor likely won’t prescribe the medication to you unless you have dangerously high cholesterol levels and the benefits of the injections outweigh the risk of an allergic reaction.
Cholesterol injections can effectively help lower very high cholesterol levels when other medications may not have worked. Or you may simply prefer getting an injection over taking a daily medication or medications that could have side effects or interactions with other medications you’re already taking.
But you may have concerns about the high costs of cholesterol injections, possible side effects, and potential ineffectiveness.
|Drug Name||Most common side effects|
|alirocumab (Praluent)||reactions at the injection site and cold-like symptoms|
|evolocumab (Repatha)||runny nose, sore throat, cold-like symptoms, back pain, high blood sugar levels, and irritation at the injection site|
|inclisiran (Leqvio)||reactions at the injection site, joint stiffness, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and shortness of breath|
These are just some examples of potential side effects. Discuss the risks and side effects of any medication with a doctor before you begin taking it.
Cholesterol injection medications are a relatively new treatment approach for high cholesterol levels. As a result, pharmaceutical manufacturers haven’t yet produced biosimilars. Biosimilars are medications that are less expensive, but just as effective, as the original medications.
Many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover cholesterol injections. But not all plans will cover them.
About 77% of Medicare plans cover Repatha. Copayments for Repatha through Medicare range from $20 to $580. If you have private insurance (not Medicare or Medicaid), your insurance company may cover these medications, too.
If your insurance company does not cover cholesterol injections, each of the pharmaceutical companies that provides these injections has a discount program that may help you save money on costs:
- The Praluent copay card helps reduce the cost to $25 per month, up to a maximum of $3,500 each year.
- The Repatha copay card helps reduce costs to $5 per month for privately insured people.
- The Leqvio copay program may help reduce costs.
Cholesterol injections help people at risk of cardiac complications from high cholesterol levels.
Receiving an injection anywhere from every 2 weeks to every 6 months may help to significantly reduce cholesterol levels. But these medications can be costly, depending on your insurance coverage.
If you’re concerned about costs, talk with a doctor and check your insurance plan for coverage details. You can also seek out other cost-saving programs.