Arimidex (anastrozole) is a prescription drug used to treat breast cancer in certain situations. The cost of Arimidex may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.
- advanced breast cancer that’s worsened after treatment with tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox)
- adjuvant (postsurgical) treatment of hormone receptor-positive (HR+) early breast cancer
- the first treatment for HR+ or HR-unknown breast cancer that’s locally advanced or metastatic (spread to other body parts)
Arimidex comes as an oral tablet. It contains the active ingredient anastrozole. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
For more details on Arimidex, see this in-depth article.
* In this article, we use the term “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
The price you pay for Arimidex can vary. It may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use. To find out how much you’ll pay for Arimidex, 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 Arimidex. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Arimidex in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Arimidex 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 Arimidex requires prior authorization.
Arimidex is available as the generic drug anastrazole. A generic contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered just as safe and effective as the original drug but tends to cost less.
To find out how the costs of Arimidex and anastrozole compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you’ve been prescribed Arimidex and you’re interested in taking anastrozole instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one drug or the other.
Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?
Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.
If you take Arimidex 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 Arimidex if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of Arimidex. If you’re interested in a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using the Arimidex Patient Direct mail-order pharmacy program might help lower your cost for Arimidex. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need help covering the cost of Arimidex 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.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Arimidex and cost.
How does the cost of Arimidex compare with that of similar drugs, such as exemestane?
The cost of Arimidex compared with exemestane (Aromasin) can depend on several factors. They may include:
- whether there are any savings programs available for the drug you’re prescribed
- whether you have insurance or are paying out of pocket
- how long your treatment lasts
- the pharmacy you use if you don’t have insurance coverage
If you have questions about the cost of Arimidex compared with similar medications, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider. They can share more details on treatment costs based on your specific situation.
Is Arimidex only available with a prescription or can you buy it over the counter? If so, how do the costs compare?
No, Arimidex isn’t available over the counter. You need a prescription for this medication. Your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider (if you have one) can provide details on your cost for prescription Arimidex.
What’s the cost of Arimidex without insurance vs. with insurance?
The cost of Arimidex without insurance versus with insurance can vary based on several factors.
Some factors that may affect your cost of Arimidex without insurance include:
- your treatment plan and drug dosage
- the pharmacy you use
- the quantity you’re prescribed (such as a 30-day or 90-day supply)
- any savings programs you apply and qualify for
The same factors affect your cost of the drug if you’re paying through insurance. But in addition, your cost with insurance may depend on:
- your individual plan benefits
- any prior authorization requirements for your plan
To find out more about your cost with and without insurance, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider (if you have one).
Whether you have insurance or not, you can visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates for Arimidex when you use coupons from the site. It’s important to note that Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline.
If you still have questions about the cost of Arimidex, 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 Arimidex. Examples of questions you may want to ask include:
- How does the cost of Arimidex compare with tamoxifen?
- Is the cost of Arimidex based on my dosage?
- Will my Medicare plan cover the cost of Arimidex?
To learn more about Arimidex, see these articles:
- All About Arimidex
- Side Effects of Arimidex: What You Need to Know
- Dosage for Arimidex: What You Need to Know
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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.