How much does Saxenda cost with and without insurance?
LAST UPDATED: Jun 13, 2023
5 MIN READ
HERE'S WHAT WE'LL COVER
Saxenda (liraglutide) is an injectable prescription medication for weight loss. It may be prescribed to people with obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) or to people who are overweight (BMI of 27 or higher) and also have a weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. When combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, clinical trials have shown that people taking Saxenda lose between 5% and 10% of their body weight in one year.
If your healthcare provider has recommended Saxenda as part of your treatment plan, you may wonder how much Saxenda costs, with and without insurance. Read on.
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How much does Saxenda cost?
The list price for Saxenda is $1,349.02 for a 30-day supply. Ultimately, the cost you’ll pay for Saxenda will depend on your insurance coverage, the pharmacy you use, and whether you qualify for any savings or patient assistance programs.
Novo Nordisk, the makers of Saxenda, offers an online cost estimator. You can fill out an online form to estimate the price you’ll pay for Saxenda, or give them a call at (888) 809-3942. Have your prescription card handy as you’ll need to copy over some information.
In addition to paying for the medication itself, you’ll also need to purchase disposable needles to use with your Saxenda pen. You need a new needle for each day of your Saxenda injection. A box of 100 NovoFine or NovoTwist needles costs about $60, or 60 cents per needle. Your healthcare provider will provide a separate prescription for these. In some states, you might also be able to buy these needles online without a prescription. Talk to your healthcare provider if these needles are safe to use.
Currently, Saxenda is only available as a brand-name drug, which is part of why it is so expensive. Brand-name drugs typically cost more than their generic counterparts.
Saxenda Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.
Does insurance cover Saxenda?
It depends. To know if your insurance plan covers Saxenda, contact your insurance provider. Here is an overview of the typical insurance coverage for Saxenda.
Private or commercial insurance through your employer: Your insurance may or may not cover Saxenda. Check your plan’s drug formulary and contact your plan administrator to determine if Saxenda is covered. Some plans may require prior authorization from your healthcare provider.
Medicare: Medicare, including Medicare Part D, generally does not cover weight loss medications. However, if you have a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to get Saxenda covered. Contact your plan administrator.
Medicaid: Medicaid prescription drug coverage varies by state. To see if Saxenda is covered under your Medicaid plan, contact your state Medicaid program.
Veterans Administration (VA): The VA does cover obesity, so you may be able to request coverage for Saxenda or other weight loss drugs.
TRICARE: TRICARE does cover Saxenda in certain situations. If you have insurance through TRICARE, work with your healthcare provider to request coverage for Saxenda.
If you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to save on Saxenda using the Saxenda Savings Offer. We’ll cover this option below in the Saxenda Coupons section.
Does Medicaid or Medicare cover Saxenda?
Generally, Medicare does not cover prescription weight loss drugs like Saxenda. If you have Medicaid, your plan may cover Saxenda, but it will depend on the particulars of your state program. Contact your state Medicaid program to find out if Saxenda is covered.
How to get insurance to cover Saxenda
If your insurance plan does not provide coverage for Saxenda, you may be able to request it with the help of your healthcare provider. Novo Nordisk offers a sample letter template they can use to request coverage.
If you have insurance through your work, you may be able to have your company’s benefits manager contact your insurance provider to request coverage. Novo Nordisk also offers a sample letter template you can use.
Once you meet your plan’s deductible, you may only be responsible for the copay when purchasing Saxenda.
Novo Nordisk offers a Saxenda Savings card, which can save you up to $200 per box of Saxenda (a 30-day supply) for 12 months. This can bring the cost down to $25 per box. To qualify, you must have private or commercial insurance and a valid prescription for Saxenda. You cannot have any prescription drug coverage through Medicaid, Medicare, Medigap, VA, DOD, TRICARE, or another federal or state healthcare program.
4 ways to reduce Saxenda cost
Saxenda is a long-term treatment for weight loss, and the cost can add up quickly. Here are some ways you can save on Saxenda.
1. Search for Saxenda coupons
If you are eligible for the Saxenda Savings Offer available through Novo Nordisk, you may pay as little as $25 for a 30-day supply of Saxenda. This Saxenda coupon is available to people with private or commercial insurance and a valid prescrip[tion for Saxenda.
2. Purchase a 3-month supply
Purchasing a 90-day (3-month) supply may be more cost-effective for some drugs. Plus, it will save you the cost of gas and the hassle of a trip to the pharmacy.
The Saxenda Savings Offer we mentioned above works on a 3-day supply, and may bring the cost down to as little as $75 for three boxes of Saxenda.
3. Shop around at pharmacies
Drug prices, including the price for Saxenda, can vary by pharmacy. Shop around at local pharmacies to see which one offers the best price for Saxenda.
You can also try a mail order or online pharmacy. These offer the convenience of home delivery, in addition to potentially lower prices, including for 90-day supplies. Check to confirm the pharmacy is covered by your insurance plan.
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If appropriate, get effective weight loss treatment prescribed for your body.
4. Consider alternate medications
Finally, if the cost of Saxenda is prohibitive, consider asking your healthcare provider about alternate medications. Saxenda is a GLP-1 medication, a drug class that also includes other diabetes and weight loss medications like Ozempic (semaglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide).
Currently, GLP-1 drugs are only available as brand-name drugs, and can be just as (or more) expensive than Saxenda. But, some may be more cost-effective for weight loss than others. For example, a 2023 cost analysis found that on average, Ozempic produced more weight loss than Saxenda, and at a lower cost: on average, it costs over $3,200 to lose 1% of body weight with Saxenda, but only $1,845 to do so with Ozempic. That’s a savings of over $1,400! Of course, this type of “value for money” cost analysis is hypothetical and uses average weight loss as “value”, assuming that everyone’s weight loss journey is the same. In reality, that is not the case, because everyone’s weight loss journey is different.
Another cost-saving option may be Mounjaro (tirzepatide). Currently, Mounjaro is only FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes, but tirzepatide may be approved to treat obesity by the end of 2023. Mounjaro also leads to significant weight loss — a clinical trial showed people lost nearly 21% of their body weight within a year and a half. And while Mounjaro costs more than Ozempic, it tends to cost less than Saxenda.
Alternatively, you may want to ask your healthcare provider about other prescription weight loss medications such as Qsymia, Contrave, or Xenical. Some studies have found these may cost less than GLP-1 medications like Saxenda and Ozempic.
Whether you go with Saxenda or another medication, it’s always worth talking to your healthcare provider about your options. Check your insurance plan to see what medications are covered.
Ozempic Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.
Wegovy Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.
Mounjaro Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Azuri, J., Hammerman, A., Aboalhasan, E., et al. (2023). Liraglutide versus semaglutide for weight reduction-a cost needed to treat analysis. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 31(6), 1510–1513. doi:10.1002/oby.23752. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23752
Levi, J., Wang, J., Venter, F., et al. (2023). Estimated minimum prices and lowest available national prices for antiobesity medications: Improving affordability and access to treatment. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 31(5), 1270–1279. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.23725. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23725
Novo Nordisk-a. (2023). Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3mg List Price & Insurance Coverage Explained | NovoCare®. Retrieved Jun. 7, 2023 from https://www.novocare.com/obesity/products/saxenda/explaining-list-price.html
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Novo Nordisk. (2022). Needle Offers & Bolus Insulin Diabetes Savings | Novo Nordisk Needles. Retrieved Jun. 7, 2023 from https://www.novoneedles.com/needle-offers.html
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2020). Highlights of Prescribing Information: Saxenda (liraglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. Retrieved Jun. 7, 2023 from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2020/206321s012s013s014lbl.pdf