How Much Does Gilenya Cost?


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

Gilenya (FINGOLIMOD) is known to help prevent relapses of multiple sclerosis but is not considered to be a cure.

How much does Gilenya cost?

The costs of Gilenya, like all prescriptions, will greatly depend on your health insurance coverage and which pharmacy you choose, and at the time of this publishing, Gilenya is only offered a branded prescription, with no generic available.  According to the calls made to a few pharmacies in our area, such as CVS, Costco, Walgreens, and Walmart, the average cost seemed to be in the $5,500 per (28) 0.5-milligram range. 

As for insurance, it seemed like some health insurance policies would not cover this prescription, including Medicare, according to GoodRX.com, but this does not mean you cannot save money as some programs are readily available for patients who are looking for this prescription.  See our next subheading to see how you can potentially cut down the costs.  Forum members on MSWorld.org, for example, did note they had luck with their health insurance policies, with most paying $9 to $60 as a co-pay for a 30-day supply.

Healthline.com notes the average monthly supply can average $5,372.18 or close to $48,000 per year.

How to save on Gilenya

Gilenya coupon:  The official company of the medication, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, offers the Gilenya Co-Pay Program, a program which can help save you up to $12,000 per year, with most eligible patients paying a $0 co-pay, if you qualify.  According to the terms via the official website, you and your doctor will need to submit a form and based on the company’s eligibility requirements, someone will then contact you in regards to your application status.  This program, at the time of this publishing, is only available for those who have commercial insurance only, but to know your eligibility, the company highly recommends you contact them directly at 1-800-GILENYA.

Assistance Foundation:  Aside from the official coupon available for those with commercial insurance, the company also offers the Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, an assistance program which can help patients pay for your medication, with most receiving their medication at no cost.  Like most programs, you will need to qualify, and according to the terms, the program is open to those without insurance and for those with a limited income.  Also, you will need a proof of a valid prescription to qualify.

Patient assistance programs:  Aside from the typical federal and state assistance programs, there are plenty of non-profit organizations out there that want to help you with specific medications, including Gilenya.  The Good Days Patient Assistance Program and PAN Foundation, for example, both offer assistance for this particular drug for patients who meet qualification requirements.  For the Good Days Patient Assistance Program, for instance, patients will have to have insurance, a valid prescription and must be diagnosed for a specific disease to qualify, whereas the PAN Foundation asks for the same requirements as well but may offer different financial assistance in the long run.  If you think you qualify, be sure to fill out as many of these forms as possible to see if you can receive financial assistance.

A generic?  The patent for Gilenya will not expire until February 2019, but even after expiration, it doesn’t mean a generic will be readily available since a manufacturer will still need to manufacture it and the FDA will need to approve the drug as well.  However, when a generic is readily available, like many other prescription drugs, the costs will be much less.

Gilenya overview

The first dosage is often administered at the hospital or inside of your doctor’s office, and at this time, you will be monitored for side effects for at least six hours after your first dosage.  This monitoring can sometimes be done inside of your home as well, but regardless of where it’s done, the tests will include a blood test to see how many white blood cells you have, an EKG and an eye exam prior to starting the medication.  Tests will continue in the future to see how your body is responding to the medication.

Once you have completed your first dosage, always take this medication as prescribed by your doctor, meaning you should not take less, more or even stop without your doctor’s approval as doing so can greatly increase your chances of increased side effect symptoms.  You can take it with or without food, according to the medication guide.

Dosage amounts vary, but for most adults suffering from multiple sclerosis, patients will be prescribed 0.5 milligrams per day.

Gilenya side effects

Common side effects include abnormal live function tests, backaches, bronchitis, diarrhea, trouble breathing, coughing, depression, nausea, feeling like throwing up, head pain, abdominal pain, arm/leg pain, sinus irritation and/or flu-like symptoms.  This is not a full list of side effects; for a full list, do refer to this FDA guide.  As with any side effects felt by any medication, always consult with your doctor immediately with any concerns you may have.


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