If you’re looking at treatment options for HIV, you may want to learn more about Cabenuva (cabotegravir/rilpivirine). It’s a prescription drug used to treat HIV-1 in adults and some children as a replacement for their current HIV treatment.
Cabenuva comes as a liquid suspension that’s injected into a muscle in your buttocks by a healthcare professional. You don’t need to take any other drugs along with Cabenuva, because it comes as a complete treatment kit.
Keep reading for details on Cabenuva injections and price, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on Cabenuva, see this in-depth article.
The price you pay for Cabenuva can vary. It may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use. It will also depend on how much you have to pay for an office visit with your doctor to receive Cabenuva injections.
To find out how much you’ll pay for Cabenuva, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover Cabenuva. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Cabenuva in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Cabenuva 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 Cabenuva requires prior authorization.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Cabenuva and cost.
What is Cabenuva’s cost with insurance?
Your cost for prescription drugs is usually lower if you have insurance than if you don’t. Different health insurance plans may have different costs for Cabenuva. Check with your insurance provider to see if the drug is covered and find out exactly how much you’ll pay.
The maker of Cabenuva has a savings program for people who have insurance and meet certain eligibility requirements. You can also talk with your doctor about other ways you may be able to lower your drug costs if you have health insurance.
If you don’t have health insurance, you can find out your cost for Cabenuva by talking with your doctor. They’ll have this information because you’ll receive your injections in their office. They can also help you enroll in the drugmaker’s financial assistance program, ViiVConnect. (For more information, see “How can I lower my long-term drug costs?” below.)
How much does Cabenuva cost per month?
The cost of Cabenuva per month depends on certain factors, such as whether you have health insurance, your doctor’s office visit costs, and your treatment plan. If you have insurance, talk with your insurer about what they cover related to your treatment plan and your exact cost.
Cabenuva comes in two different strength kits. Once certain starting doses are completed, the drug can be injected monthly, or at a higher dose every 2 months.
Although the cost for the 2-month dosing kit is likely higher than the 1-month dosing kit, the cost over time is likely to be lower when Cabenuva is given every 2 months. Your doctor will recommend the dosing schedule that’s right for you and can likely tell you the exact price you’ll pay for treatment.
To learn more about Cabenuva’s dosage, see this in-depth article.
Cabenuva only comes as a brand-name drug. It’s not currently available in a generic version. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication but it tends to cost less.)
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 drugmaker 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.
Cabenuva’s long-term costs may be lower if you enroll in ViiVConnect. This is an assistance program that helps with drug costs for eligible people with and without insurance.
Talk with your doctor if you don’t have health insurance. They may be able to help you enroll in the program and provide you with more information. You can also find out more about ViiVConnect by calling 844-588-3288.
If you need help covering the cost of Cabenuva or understanding your insurance, check out these online resources:
On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.
If you still have questions about the cost of Cabenuva or how to pay for it, talk with your doctor. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for the drug.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- Will my cost of Cabenuva be different if I receive my dose once per month or every 2 months?
- Is there another lower cost treatment option for my condition?
- Are complete treatment options such as Cabenuva less costly than taking several HIV drugs?
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.