How Much Does Avonex Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  February 11, 2020

Avonex, approved by the FDA, is known to help decrease the number of multiple sclerosis attacks and even slow down physical disability in those with relapsing forms of the disease.  Not known as a cure, it comes in the form of a pen syringe and is available via prescription only.

How much does Avonex cost?

The cost of the Avonex pens will greatly depend on your health insurance coverage, the pharmacy you choose and the quantity prescribed.  With no generic available at the time of this publishing, the costs can range from as little as $6,900 for a one dose pack of four pens of 30 micrograms to as much as $26,000+ for a four-dose pack of the same dosage without any type of insurance or financial assistance.

Granted, these are prices for those without insurance, and while most health insurance companies cover the drug today, you may still be responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars since most have to meet deductibles and co-pays before the costs could go down.  A portion of Medicare plans will cover the drug, with the co-pay reported to be in the $1,584 to $7,808 range, according to GoodRX.com.

The NPR talked with a woman from Oregon who was prescribed Avonex, and even after her insurance coverage paid most of it, they still had to pay close to $10,000 a year for the prescription.

How to save on Avonex

The $0 co-pay program:  The official manufacturer of the drug, Biogen, offers the Avonex $0 Co-Pay Program, a program which is designed to help patients pay as little as $0 for their prescription.  To qualify, however, you will need to register to confirm your eligibility and have no income requirements and no enrollment time for eligible patients, according to the official company’s website.

Patient assistance programs: A variety of patient assistance programs, aside from the typical state and federal programs, are available online to help offset the costs of the medications, even if you have insurance or a decent income.  The Above MS ProgramHealthWell Foundation and Good Days Patient Assistance Program, for example, are all programs designed to help you out financially.  To see if you qualify, like the co-pay program mentioned above, you will simply fill out a form and with this information, a representative of the company will contact you with more information.

Health insurance:  As mentioned above, check with your health insurance and your local pharmacy to see what you will be responsible for with your insurance coverage.  As there are thousands of policies on the market, it can be hard to offer a definite price as to what you will be responsible for.

Drug overview

Avonex will come either as a prefilled autoinjector pen, prefilled syringe or as a powder, which will need to be mixed with sterile water before it’s administered.  The website, however, claim that nine out of 10 patients prefer the prefilled syringe option as you can use it with a simple click.

Before prescribed, your doctor or a trained health professional will give you the medicine and will then show you how to administer the medicine at home, including which part of the body you can use as each method will require a different sit.  Like a shot, the pen is injected as shot under your skin or into a muscle.  If injecting yourself, always follow the dosage scheduling as planned and do not change any dosing unless otherwise stated by your doctor as using too much can greatly increase your risks for side effects.

The established treatment plan, as per the company, will be once a week.

Avonex side effects

The most common side effects reported include redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, and if these effects worsen or last longer than expected, then you should contact your doctor immediately.

Other side effects report people feeling flu-like symptoms, headaches, fatigue, chills and muscle aches when first taking the medication, according to WebMD.com.  Usually, these symptoms will subside and will improve as the months go on; however, if the side effects become worse or do not improve, then you will, again, want to seek medical advice immediately.

A serious allergic reaction, while rare, can include a serious allergic reaction, rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness or trouble breathing.

This is not a full list of side effects, with more information found here in regards to what you can expect when using the medication.


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