How to Save on Ondansetron: Alternatives, Insurance Coverage, and Prescription Discounts
Ondansetron hydrochloride is an FDA-approved generic prescription medication used to relieve nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It is also sometimes used off-label to treat morning sickness during pregnancy. However, purchasing ondansetron can be challenging due to the cost of cancer treatments. This article explores the cost of ondansetron without insurance, insurance coverage, and prescription discounts.
Is ondansetron covered by insurance?
Most health insurance plans, Medicare, and Medicaid cover ondansetron. However, the coverage may vary by plan. Some plans may not include it in their formulary, and some may require a copayment. Medicare covers ondansetron as a medical benefit under Part B if administered in a clinical setting. It’s covered as a drug benefit under Part D if purchased at a drugstore or online pharmacy.
How much does ondansetron cost without insurance?
The average cash price of ten 4 mg tablets of generic ondansetron is $133, which represents a two-day supply, typically the maximum dosage people will take after a cancer procedure. The cost may add up depending on the type and number of cancer treatments. Cancer doctors have several antiemetic (antinausea) drugs that effectively control nausea and vomiting, such as granisetron, aprepitant, fosaprepitant, and corticosteroids. Only corticosteroids are less expensive than ondansetron, but they are only used for cancer treatments with a low incidence of nausea and vomiting.
Alternatives to ondansetron
While other prescription antinausea drugs, over-the-counter nausea meds, or OTC supplements are not as effective at treating nausea due to cancer treatment, some like generic Phenergan (promethazine) or scopolamine may be used if ondansetron or similar drugs don’t work.
How to get ondansetron without insurance
There are several ways to obtain ondansetron at a lower price without insurance:
Use a prescription discount card
Prescription discount cards like SingleCare offer a discount on ondansetron. With a SingleCare discount coupon, the lowest discount price for four ondansetron 4mg tablets is $4, which is only one dollar per tablet. Discount prices may vary by participating pharmacies.
Shop for the lowest price
Different pharmacies may charge different prices for the same prescription medications. Therefore, it pays to look around for the best price. Currently, the lowest pharmacy price for four generic ondansetron 4mg tablets is $32, over $100 lower than the average retail price.
Consider health insurance
For cancer treatments, a health insurance policy may be the best overall deal when all the costs are added up. Check your state’s health insurance marketplace for the lowest-cost plans, and balance the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket costs with the overall costs of treatment. There may be a policy where the savings far outweigh the cost.
If health insurance is too costly, you may qualify for Medicaid, a government-subsidized health insurance plan designed to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. Ondansetron and other cancer treatments may be free or only cost a few dollars. Medicaid will also pay for office visits, medical procedures, and tests.
Talk to a local health department official
Community resources may be able to help with cancer treatment expenses, including prescription drugs, medical costs, and non-health-related issues like transportation, food, and at-home care. If you don’t have insurance, talk to a local health department about the community resources, community clinics, and 340B providers that could provide help and offset expenses during treatment. They may also provide information on patient assistance programs (PAPs) offered by drug manufacturers that provide free or discounted medications to eligible patients.
It’s important to note that prescription drug prices often change, and the listed prices in this article may not be the most current. Therefore, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for the most up-to-date pricing information.
In conclusion, ondansetron is a helpful medication for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, but it can be costly. However, there are options available to help reduce the cost, such as prescription discount cards, shopping around for the lowest price, health insurance, Medicaid, and community resources. It’s crucial to explore these options to obtain the necessary treatment while managing the costs.