If you’re looking at treatment options for asthma, hives, or nasal polyps, you may want to learn more about Xolair (omalizumab).
Xolair is a prescription drug that’s used to treat:
- moderate to severe long-lasting asthma in adults and some children
- nasal polyps in adults
- chronic or recurring hives with an unknown cause in adults and some children
Xolair comes in two forms: a liquid inside a prefilled syringe and a powder in a vial that’s mixed into a liquid solution.
Xolair is given as an injection under your skin at a healthcare facility.*
Xolair contains the active ingredient omalizumab. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Keep reading for details on Xolair, its cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on Xolair, see this in-depth article.
* If you use the prefilled syringe form of Xolair, you may be able to give yourself Xolair injections at home in some cases.
The price you pay for Xolair can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy that fills your Xolair prescription. It may also depend on how much you have to pay for an office visit with your doctor if you receive your injections there.
To find out how much you’ll pay for Xolair, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider covers Xolair. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Xolair in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Xolair 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 Xolair requires prior authorization.
If you need help covering the cost of Xolair 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.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Xolair and cost.
Is the price of Xolair injections higher if I receive 300-mg doses instead of 150-mg doses?
It’s possible. The price of Xolair may be higher if you’re taking a higher dosage. Doctors will prescribe Xolair in dosages of 150 mg or 300 mg, depending on the type of hives you have.
If you have questions about how your dosage may affect the cost of Xolair, talk with your doctor.
What is the cost per dose of Xolair with insurance and without insurance?
The price you pay for Xolair depends on your insurance coverage. If you have insurance that covers prescription medications, you may be eligible to enroll in the XOLAIR Co-pay Program to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. If you don’t have insurance coverage for prescriptions, you may be able to receive Xolair through the Genentech Patient Foundation. See the “Can I get help paying for Xolair?” section above for more information.
Is Xolair covered by Medicare?
Whether Medicare covers or not depends on your specific Medicare plan. Different plans have different copay options, and not all plans may cover Xolair. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or Medicare plan representative if you have questions about what you’ll pay for Xolair.
Xolair is only available as a brand-name drug. Xolair 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 drugmaker 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 use Xolair long term and give yourself injections, 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 Xolair if approved by your insurance company. This could help lower the cost of Xolair. 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 Xolair. 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 still have questions about the cost of Xolair, 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 Xolair.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- If my insurance doesn’t cover Xolair, are there other lower-cost drugs available to treat my condition?
- What are my options if I can’t afford to pay for Xolair?
- Can you suggest other resources that may help me save on out-of-pocket costs?
To learn more about Xolair, 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.