Eylea (aflibercept) is a prescription drug that treats retinal diseases in the eye. Eylea’s cost may depend on your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and which doctor’s office you use to receive the injection.
- wet age-related macular degeneration
- swelling of the macula from retinal vein occlusion
- diabetic macular edema
- diabetic retinopathy
- retinopathy of prematurity
Eylea contains the active ingredient aflibercept. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) It comes as a liquid solution in a vial or prefilled syringe. Your doctor will inject Eylea directly into your eye.
For more details on Eylea, see this in-depth article.
The price you pay for Eylea can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan and your health insurance coverage (if you have it). It will also depend on how much you have to pay for an office visit with your doctor to receive Eylea injections.
To find out how much you’ll pay for Eylea, 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 Eylea. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Eylea in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Eylea 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 Eylea requires prior authorization.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Eylea and cost.
Does Eylea cost less than Avastin?
No, you’ll likely pay more for Eylea than for Avastin. Eylea and Avastin are both anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections. But only Eylea is approved to treat retinal diseases.
Avastin is typically used to treat certain kinds of cancer. But it may be used off-label to treat macular degeneration. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for. Using a drug off-label may affect whether your insurance decides to cover treatment.
If you have questions about the cost and uses of Avastin compared with those of Eylea, talk with your doctor.
Is Eylea covered by Medicare?
Certain Medicare plans may cover the cost of Eylea. Your doctor may need to submit documents to explain why you need Eylea for treating your eye condition. Before Eylea is covered for you, your Medicare plan provider may need to approve the treatment.
To find out if Medicare will cover the cost of Eylea for you, speak with your plan provider.
Eylea 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. 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 drug manufacturer of a biologic drug can sell it for up to
12 years. When the biologic drug’s patent expires, other drug manufacturers 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 need help covering the cost of Eylea 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 Eylea, talk with your doctor. 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 Eylea.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- To lower my cost of Eylea, can I receive an injection every 12 weeks instead of every 4 weeks?
- Are there lower-cost alternative treatments for my eye condition?
- What are my options if Medicare doesn’t approve my coverage for Eylea?
To learn more about Eylea, see these articles:
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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.