Cost of Buprenorphine Treatment to Patients

The cost of buprenorphine can vary depending on the dose. Cost of a dose of buprenorphine is determined by:

  • The pharmaceutical company, brand names and other companies that produce generic buprenorphine
  • The health plan
  • Retail pharmacies

Daily doses are normally from 8 mg to 24 mg, and the average retail price for these doses ranges from $4-$19 per day (Sullivan and Fiellin, 2008).

Patients who do not have health insurance can expect to pay around $500 per month for buprenorphine treatment, which includes the cost of the medication plus the cost of doctor's visits. These estimates are based on an average dose of 16mg/day ($12 x 30 days = $360) plus $100-$200 fee for office-visits. Of course, these rates will vary based on factors such as geographic location and proximity of other providers.

A variety of prescription discounts are available for low-income patients.

Update: As of March 2013, the FDA approved generic combination buprenorphine/naloxone tablets. These may significantly reduce the cost to patients.

Related Resources: 
This pie chart shows the breakdown of how buprenorphine patients paid for their doctor's visits. 204 patients in NAABT's physician-patient matching system were surveyed.
The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT)
This study examines decision-making in the buprenorphine treatment distribution and payment systems. The study is based on interviews with health care leaders involved in the distribution and adoption of buprenorphine.
The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)