Buprenorphine is a medication that is increasingly used as a treatment for opioid use.

Like all medications, there are certain costs involved with buying the medication, as well as other direct and indirect costs of treatment.

In this article, we will be discussing:

  • What Buprenorphine is used for
  • How much Buprenorphine costs
  • A breakdown of both the direct and indirect costs of treatment
  • How insurance can help pay for treatment with Buprenorphine
  • How the cost of Buprenorphine compares to other effective treatments

Let’s get started.

Overview of Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is a medication that can be used as part of medication-assisted treatment (or MAT) to help people overcome opioid addiction.

This prescription medication is FDA-approved, and can help manage opioid withdrawal symptoms. It is commonly sold under the generic version, SUBUTEX.

How Much Is Buprenorphine?

Without any healthcare insurance or support from schemes such as Medicaid and discount cards, the out-of-pocket costs of buprenorphine are around ​​$8.44 per day.

It is important to know that the cost of buprenorphine treatment (including medication, doctor’s visits, and lab tests) is often either partially or fully covered by health insurance and Medicaid.

There are also patient assistance programs and funding available via the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder, which you can find here.

A Quick Breakdown of Buprenorphine Treatment Costs

While most people immediately think of the cost of the medication itself, it is important to also take into account other medical costs as well as indirect costs.

One of the main costs involved with Buprenorphine treatments is the requirement for follow-up visits with your doctor.

A medical professional will meet with you regularly to assess if the treatment plan is right for you and will look for any potential side effects.

It is also important to know that Buprenorphine is available in multiple forms, including as a transdermal patch, sublingual tablet, sublingual film, and as an injection.

Your choice of administration will also ultimately affect the price tag.

Direct Costs

Medication prices:

  • Buprenorphine Injection: $15.79 – $17.37 Per dose
  • Buprenorphine Sublingual tablet: $0.63 – $2.08 depending on dose
  • Extended Release Transdermal Patch: $27.08 – $27.08 depending on dose

Associated medical services

  • Doctors Visits: $100 – $300 without health care insurance
  • Lab Tests: $20- $100 without health insurance coverage
  • Counseling: $50+ without health insurance coverage

Indirect Costs

  • Travel and time: If you have been prescribed Buprenorphine, you will need to attend regular follow-up appointments and have lab tests done.

You may also be required to attend counseling sessions and will need to collect prescriptions regularly. This added travel cost can add up over time.

Insurance and Buprenorphine Costs

People with Medicaid are able to receive buprenorphine treatment at a reduced cost. Medicaid coverage drops the price of buprenorphine treatment to about $0.10 per day.

For people who are not eligible for Medicaid but have access to health insurance, the cost is usually reduced as well.

Private health insurance coverage will often help pay for doctor’s appointments, along with the cost of the medication itself.

Comparing Buprenorphine Costs with Other Opioid Treatment Methods

Methadone

While the cost of treatment with methadone itself is usually less than buprenorphine, it needs to be administered in specialized clinics. This means that the cost of transportation and time are much higher than with buprenorphine.

Naltrexone

While quite similar in cost, Naltrexone is usually more expensive compared to buprenorphine with the average monthly cost ranging from $300 to $800 without insurance coverage.

Detoxification and Rehabilitation Programs

Detoxification and rehab programs are extremely important for many people with drug addictions.

However, for some people with no Medicaid or health insurance coverage, the cost of these programs is significantly more than treatment with medication alone.

Conclusion

For people with Opioid addiction, treatment with buprenorphine can help manage drug withdrawal and potential further drug abuse with illegal and prescription opioids.

However, there are other costs that come with buprenorphine treatment that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Direct costs of the medication are usually lowest for people who qualify for Medicaid coverage and have healthcare insurance. For others, the out-of-pocket cost may be high.

It is important to discuss these costs with your doctor in order to make the most effective plan for your treatment.

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