How Much Does Forteo Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Forteo injections, available via prescription only, helps increase bone mass and strength.  It’s also known to help slow down bone loss and create a healthier bone.

Created from a synthetic version of the human parathyroid hormone, which is able to help regulate calcium metabolism, it can also help the growth of new bones.  According to WebMD.com, it’s the only osteoporosis medicine approved by the FDA that rebuilds bone.

How much does Forteo cost?

As with any prescription, the costs will depend on your insurance coverage and which pharmacy you choose to have your prescription filled.  At the time of this publishing, without any health insurance coverage, one pen is said to cost $3,400 each at popular pharmacies such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Costco and Kroger, to name a few.  The drug is only available in a 600 mcg/2.4 ml strength.

For those with a health insurance policy, it does appear that most insurance companies, including, Medicare, as per GoodRx.com, will cover the prescription, with the average co-pay ranging from $800 to $3,000+.  To be certain what you’re going to be responsible for before picking up your prescription, it’s important to talk with your health insurance company directly to know what you will pay as there are hundreds of policies available on the market, each with its only inclusions and restrictions.

Not available as a generic, the brand name is the only option at this time.

How to save on Forteo

Manufacturer coupon:  The official manufacturer of the drug, Lilly, offers a Forteo Co-Pay Card, a co-pay card that reduces your co-pay to as little as $4 a month if you qualify.  According to the fine print on the website, it’s available to commercially insured patients only, with up to 24 monthly refills available, maximizing the savings to $9,000 annually.  It’s invalid for patients who are eligible to be reimbursed by any government program.  To see if you qualify for this co-pay card and read more about it, visit the official Forteo.com website to fill out a form and see how much you can potentially save.  Forteo Connect is also available, which is a program designed to offer support from a nurse educator and help patients identify what they are responsible for financially.

Lilly Cares:  The Lilly Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization, offers financial assistance to patients who need financial assistance.  Different from the co-pay card option mentioned prior, this organization can help you find a program that offers Lilly-based medicines, such as Forteo, for as little as $0 by using the company’s program finder tool.

Third-party discount websites:  Popular websites, such as GoodRx.com and Singlecare.com, offer discounted prescription cards that work just like your insurance card.  To use, you simply search for the drug you have a prescription for, find the pharmacy you want to use and print out the card to take into the pharmacy, only paying the price listed on the website.  Now, if you do decide to use this option, you can only use the coupon card only and will not be able to combine it with your insurance coverage.  In some cases, even if you do have a health insurance policy, you may be able to save more by using the coupon instead of your insurance.

What is Forteo?

Forteo, a brand-name drug manufactured by Lilly, is a calcium regulator that’s designed to help treat osteoporosis in both men and postmenopausal women.  It can also help decrease the risks by strengthening the bone.  The drug was approved by the FDA in 2002.

While there are some drugs similar in the way it treats osteoporosis, such as Prolia and Boniva, there are no drugs that work in the same way Forteo does.  The brand name for teriparatide, at the time of this publishing, no generic is available.

To use, your medical professional will first show you where the injections can occur on the body, with the recommendation of using a different body part each time you inject.  It’s important to keep a log to ensure you’re rotating correctly.  The medicine comes as a pre-filled syringe, with the recommendation of injecting either in the thigh or lower stomach area.  Coming with a medication guide, be sure to ask your doctor with any questions you may have in regards to usage, dosing and any side effects you may feel.

Forteo side effects

Common side effects, as reported by the manufacturer, may include an allergic reaction at the injection site, nausea, trouble sleeping, a feeling of weakness, cramps, chest pain, rashes, runny nose, trouble sleeping, sweating and/or diarrhea.  This isn’t a full list of side effects; for more information, refer to this FDA PDF.  As always, if you’re uncomfortable with any of the side effects you’re experiencing, talk with your doctor immediately.


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