Esbriet (pirfenidone) is a prescription drug used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Esbriet’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.

Esbriet is used in adults to treat a lung condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This condition causes scarring in the lungs, making it hard to breathe.

Esbriet comes as an oral capsule and an oral film-coated tablet. It contains the active ingredient pirfenidone. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

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

The price you pay for Esbriet 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 Esbriet, 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 Esbriet. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Esbriet in regard to your treatment. Then your insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Esbriet 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 Esbriet requires prior authorization.

Esbriet is available as the generic drug pirfenidone. 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 Esbriet and pirfenidone compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If you’ve been prescribed Esbriet and you’re interested in taking pirfenidone 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 Esbriet 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 Esbriet if approved by your insurance company. This could help lower the cost of the drug. Esbriet is available through specialty pharmacies. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, insurance provider, or the specialty pharmacy you choose.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Esbriet is available through specialty pharmacies. 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 from the specialty pharmacy you choose.

If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or the specialty pharmacy. They may be able to suggest options to save on the cost of Esbriet.

If you need help covering the cost of Esbriet 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 Esbriet and cost.

Esbriet (pirfenidone) and Ofev (nintedanib) are prescribed for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, but Ofev is also approved to treat other conditions. Both drugs come as oral capsules. Esbriet also comes as an oral film-coated tablet.

Factors that may affect how much you pay for each medication 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
  • your dosage of the drug

If you have questions about the cost of Esbriet compared with the cost of similar medications, talk with your doctor, the specialty pharmacy, or your insurance provider. They can share more details on treatment costs based on your specific situation.

How much does Esbriet cost without insurance?

What you’ll pay for Esbriet without insurance depends on several factors. Generally, your cost will be higher without insurance. Factors that could affect your cost include:

  • whether you qualify for any savings programs
  • the specialty pharmacy you choose
  • the quantity you’re prescribed (such as a 30-day or 90-day supply)

To find out the exact cost of Esbriet without insurance, ask your doctor or specialty pharmacist. You may also want to check with a few specialty pharmacies to compare prices.

If you still have questions about the cost of Esbriet, talk with your doctor or the specialty pharmacy. 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 Esbriet.

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

  • How does the cost of brand-name Esbriet compare with the generic version pirfenidone?
  • Is there a difference in price between the tablet and capsule version of Esbriet?
  • What are my options if I can’t afford my medication?

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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.