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 (if using sublingual tablets), (Sullivan & Fiellin, 2008).

Prior-authorization is often required, although this may be decreasing in frequency. Many private clinics accept only cash. For patients who can afford to pay cash, they will have to seek reimbursement through their insurance carriers.

Daily buprenorphine costs $4,000 to $5,000 per year and methadone costs $2,600 to $5,200 (Blueshift, 2017). Cost for the implant form of buprenorphine is $4,000 to $6,000 for six months. These estimates are based on an average dose of 16 mg/day, not including the $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.

The generic combination buprenorphine/naloxone tablets may reduce the cost to patients significantly.

View ReferencesHide References
Blueshift Research. Camurus and Indivior Set to Significantly Sway the Opioid Abuse Treatment Market . Blueshift Research Report. 2017. Accessed on: 2017-03-21.
Sullivan, L, Fiellin, D. Narrative Review: Buprenorphine for Opioid-Dependent Patients in Office Practice. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2008; 148(9): 662-670. Available at: Accessed on: 2015-12-04.
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)
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