Actemra (tocilizumab) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat arthritis and other conditions. Actemra’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.

Actemra is used in adults to treat:

Actemra is prescribed for certain children ages 2 years and older to treat:

For more details on Actemra, see this in-depth article.

Repatha retail price
$561
The retail price of Repatha is $561.

The price you pay for Actemra can vary. It may depend on several factors, including:

  • your treatment plan
  • the form of Actemra you need for your condition
  • your insurance coverage (if you have it)
  • the pharmacy you use
  • the cost of an appointment at a doctor’s office to receive Actemra, if needed

To find out how much you’ll pay for Actemra, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover Actemra. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Actemra in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Actemra requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether Actemra requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Actemra and cost.

Does Medicare pay for Actemra?

It depends on your specific Medicare plan. Some plans may cover Actemra, while others may not. Depending on the form of Actemra you need for your condition, different parts of Medicare may cover the drug. If you have questions about Medicare paying for Actemra, talk with your insurance provider.

Is Actemra cheaper than Humira?

It’s possible. The price you pay for Actemra or Humira depends on many factors. Biosimilars have recently become available as a less expensive option for Humira therapy.

Biosimilars are like generic drugs, but unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs. Some of these biosimilars are interchangeable with Humira.

Your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider can tell you more about the cost difference between Actemra and Humira.

Actemra is a biologic drug, which means it’s made from parts of living organisms. It doesn’t come in a biosimilar form. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs, but unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.)

Why is there such a cost difference between biologic drugs and biosimilar drugs?

Biologic drugs can be expensive because of the research and testing needed to ensure their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a biologic drug can sell it for up to 12 years. When the drug’s patent expires, other drugmakers can create biosimilar versions. This competition in the market may lead to lower costs for biosimilars. And because biosimilars are very similar to biologic drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower costs for biosimilars.

If you take Actemra long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:

Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of Actemra if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of the drug. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of Actemra, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for Actemra. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you need help covering the cost of Actemra or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you still have questions about the cost of Actemra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Actemra.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • Will I have to receive my Actemra dose in my doctor’s office?
  • Will my dosage of Actemra affect my cost?
  • What are my options if I can’t afford my medication?

To learn more about Actemra, see these articles:

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

Disclaimer: Healthline 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.