Tzield (teplizumab-mzwv) is a prescription drug that’s used to delay the progression of type 1 diabetes. Tzield’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage and whether you have health insurance.
Tzield is used in adults and certain children ages 8 years and older to delay the progression of type 1 diabetes from stage 2 to stage 3. People with stage 2 type 1 diabetes have trouble processing sugar but don’t have symptoms yet. People with stage 3 type 1 diabetes have significant symptoms.
Tzield contains the active ingredient teplizumab-mzwv*. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. Tzield comes as a liquid solution that your doctor will administer by intravenous (IV) infusion (an injection into a vein given over time).
For more details on Tzield, see this in-depth article.
* The reason “-mzwv” appears at the end of the drug’s name is to show that the drug is distinct from similar medications that may be created in the future.
The price you pay for Tzield can vary. It may depend on your treatment plan and your 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 Tzield.
To find out how much you’ll pay for Tzield, 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 Tzield. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Tzield in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Tzield 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 Tzield requires prior authorization.
Tzield 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. But unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologics.
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 Tzield 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 insurance provider (if you have insurance).
If you still have questions about the cost of Tzield, 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 Tzield.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- What other lower-cost drugs are available to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes?
- What is the total cost of receiving Tzield, including any premedications to prevent side effects?
- How will my dosage affect the cost of Tzield?
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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.