If you’re looking at treatment options for high triglyceride levels, you may want to learn more about Vascepa (icosapent ethyl). It’s a prescription drug used to help:
- reduce blood levels of triglycerides in adults with certain conditions
- reduce the risk of stroke and some heart problems in certain people*
*If you take Vascepa to lower the risk of stroke and certain heart problems, you’ll likely take it with a statin drug.
Vascepa is not used to treat pancreatitis which may be caused by high triglyceride levels. This is because the drug’s effectiveness for treating this condition is currently unknown.
Vascepa comes as a capsule that you swallow.
Keep reading for details on Vascepa and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on Vascepa, see this in-depth article.
The price you pay for Vascepa 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 Vascepa, 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 Vascepa. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Vascepa in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Vascepa 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 Vascepa requires prior authorization.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Vascepa and cost.
How much do Vascepa 1-gram capsules cost?
The cost of 1-gram (g) capsules of Vascepa depends on the quantity you’re prescribed (such as a 30-day or 90-day supply). It also depends on whether you’re paying out of pocket or have insurance coverage.
It’s likely your cost will be higher without insurance compared to with insurance.
For example, if you have insurance you may have a set copay or need to pay a percentage of the cost each time you get your prescription filled. This amount can also depend on your insurance plan.
If you don’t have insurance, your cost may vary depending on your treatment plan and the pharmacy you use. Be sure to check with a few pharmacies before filling your prescription to find the best price.
For more information about the cost of 1-gram Vascepa capsules, talk with your doctor, insurance provider, or pharmacist.
What’s Vascepa’s price without insurance, compared to its cost with insurance?
Vascepa’s price without insurance depends on your treatment plan and whether you qualify for any cost savings programs. The maker of Vascepa does not offer a coupon for those with no insurance. But you may be eligible for other cost savings plans. (Check out “Can I get help paying for Vascepa?” below.)
Vascepa’s cost with insurance depends on your individual plan benefits. It depends on whether you have a set copay for brand name drugs and what that copay is. Your cost may also vary based on whether your insurance plan has prior authorization requirements you must meet.
Vascepa has two cost savings programs for those with private insurance coverage. BlinkRx is an online prescription service that provides cost savings for the drug. And Vascepa also has a cost savings card for eligible privately insured patients.
Finally, your price without insurance compared to cost with insurance will depend on how many days’ supply of Vascepa (30-day vs. 90-day) that you’re prescribed.
To learn more about the differences in cost, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider (if you have one).
What is Vascepa’s cost on Medicare? Is there a coupon I can use with Medicare?
Different Medicare plans offer different benefits and costs can vary. Your cost of Vascepa with a Medicare plan will depend on:
- your plan’s benefits
- the quantity you’re prescribed (such as a 30-day or 90-day supply)
- if you must meet prior authorization requirements
You cannot use a Vascepa coupon if you have a Medicare plan. The maker of Vascepa only has cost savings options for those on private insurance plans (non-government plans).
To find out your cost of Vascepa with Medicare, call your plan provider for more details.
How does the price of Vascepa compare to the price of fish oil supplements?
Vascepa is a prescription drug that contains the active ingredient icosapent ethyl, which is a modified omega-3 fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Fish oil supplements are available over the counter. Most of these contain EPA along with other omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil supplements may also contain other vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin D.
The cost of Vascepa compared to fish oil supplements depends on:
- your treatment plan for Vascepa
- whether you have insurance coverage
- if you qualify for cost savings with Vascepa
- the type of fish oil supplement and dose you take
Dietary supplements such as fish oil can have great variances in dosage, quality, and strength. If you’ve been prescribed Vascepa and you’re interested in fish oil supplements, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can discuss the effectiveness of these products and how the costs compare.
If you need help covering the cost of Vascepa 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.
The maker of Vascepa offers cost savings programs to save on the cost of the drug. One program is through BlinkRx, an online prescription service program. The other is a cost savings card that works like a copay card to lower the cost of the drug. These programs are for patients with commercial insurance (not government insurance plans such as Medicare or Medicaid).
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Vascepa is available as the generic drug icosapent ethyl. A generic drug 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 and generally costs less.
To find out how much generic Vascepa costs and how this compares to brand-name Vascepa, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you’ve been prescribed Vascepa and you’re interested in using icosapent ethyl instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider since it may only cover one 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 Vascepa 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 Vascepa if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of Vascepa. 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 called BlinkRx to fill your Vascepa prescription might help lower your cost of the drug. And you could get your medication without leaving home. Ask your doctor about this program to save money on Vascepa.
Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. And you may 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 still have questions about the cost of Vascepa, 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 to your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Vascepa.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- Does the cost of Vascepa differ depending on the strength I’m prescribed, such as 0.5 gram (g) vs. 1 g?
- Would my cost for Vascepa change if my dosage is lowered?
- Is my cost for Vascepa different if I have to meet prior authorization requirements?
To learn more about Vascepa, 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.