Hydroxychloroquine is a generic prescription drug that’s used to:
- treat discoid lupus erythematosus in adults
- prevent and treat certain types of malaria in adults and some children
- treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults
- treat systemic lupus erythematosus in adults
Hydroxychloroquine comes as tablets you swallow. It belongs to a group of drugs called antimalarials. Hydroxychloroquine is also available as the brand-name drug Plaquenil.
Keep reading for details on hydroxychloroquine and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on hydroxychloroquine, see this in-depth article.
The price you pay for hydroxychloroquine can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
To find out how much you’ll pay for hydroxychloroquine, including what your cost per dose may be, 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 hydroxychloroquine. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss hydroxychloroquine in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If hydroxychloroquine 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 hydroxychloroquine requires prior authorization.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about hydroxychloroquine and cost.
Does hydroxychloroquine’s cost depend on the tablet strength (200 mg or 300 mg)?
It’s possible that the cost hydroxychloroquine may vary based on the strength you’re prescribed.
The cost may also depend on other factors, such as:
- your treatment plan
- whether you have insurance coverage or you’re paying out of pocket
- the pharmacy you choose
To find out the cost of 200-mg or 300-mg hydroxychloroquine tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. If you have insurance coverage, your insurance provider can also tell you the cost of the medication.
What’s the cost of hydroxychloroquine without insurance vs. with insurance?
In general, most drugs cost less if they’re covered by your insurance than without insurance. The cost of hydroxychloroquine without insurance may depend on your treatment plan, dosage, and the pharmacy you choose. You may want to check with a few pharmacies in your area for the best price when paying without insurance.
If you have insurance coverage, your cost depends on your specific plan’s benefits. For example, if you have a copay (your share of the cost), you’ll typically pay a set amount each time you fill a prescription. Your cost with insurance may also depend on your treatment plan.
For more information on the cost of hydroxychloroquine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also check with your insurance provider to see if your plan covers hydroxychloroquine.
Hydroxychloroquine is a generic drug. This means it’s an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics generally cost less than brand-name drugs.
Hydroxychloroquine comes in a brand-name version called Plaquenil. To find out how the costs of Plaquenil and hydroxychloroquine compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you’ve been prescribed hydroxychloroquine and you’re interested in using Plaquenil 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. This is because 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 hydroxychloroquine 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 hydroxychloroquine if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of hydroxychloroquine. If you’re interested in getting 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 a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for hydroxychloroquine. 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 hydroxychloroquine 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 hydroxychloroquine, 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 hydroxychloroquine.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- Does the cost of hydroxychloroquine depend on the condition I’m taking it to treat?
- Will my cost of hydroxychloroquine change if my dosage is increased?
- Is the cost of hydroxychloroquine lower from online pharmacies?
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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.