If you’re looking at treatment options for certain autoimmune conditions, you may want to learn more about Stelara (ustekinumab).

Stelara is a prescription drug that’s used in adults to treat:

Stelara is also used to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in children.

Stelara contains the active ingredient ustekinumab. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) The drug comes as a liquid solution and is either given as an injection under your skin or as an intravenous (IV) infusion. (An IV infusion is an injection into your vein given over a period of time.)

Keep reading for details on Stelara injection and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.

Note: For more details on Stelara, see this in-depth article.

The price you pay for Stelara can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan and your insurance coverage (if you have it). It may also depend on how much you have to pay for an office visit with your doctor to receive Stelara.

If you use the form of Stelara that comes in a vial, you may also need to buy needles and syringes.

To find out how much you’ll pay for Stelara, 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 Stelara. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Stelara in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Stelara 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 Stelara requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Stelara and cost.

How much do Stelara injections cost without insurance and with insurance?

The price you pay for Stelara may vary depending on whether or not you have health insurance. If you have insurance, you can contact your insurance provider to find out what your out-of-pocket costs, such as a copay, may be for Stelara. If you don’t have insurance, ask your doctor or pharmacist if they can provide more information about cost.

Does Medicare cover the cost of Stelara?

What you’ll play for Stelara depends on your specific Medicare plan. It may also depend on whether you receive your dose at the doctor’s office or give yourself injections at home. If you have questions about your cost for Stelara with Medicare, talk with your doctor or contact your Medicare plan provider.

Stelara only comes as a brand-name drug. Stelara is a biologic medication (meaning it’s made from living cells), and it’s not currently available in a biosimilar version. A biosimilar is like a generic version of a biologic drug. Like generics, biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name 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 manufacturer of a biologic drug can sell it for up to 12 years. When the biologic drug’s patent expires, other drugmakers 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 Stelara or understanding your insurance, check out these websites:

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. A savings program called Stelara withMe may also be available for Stelara. You can also check out this list of resources for help paying for Stelara from the drug’s manufacturer.

If you still have questions about the cost of Stelara, 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 Stelara.

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

  • Will my dosage of Stelara affect the cost?
  • Are there other lower-cost drugs that could treat my condition?
  • Is Stelara less expensive if I give myself injections at home instead of receiving it as an infusion?

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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.