What's the cost of Accutane on average? Is it covered?

How much does a lower dose, 4-5 month treatment Accutane treatment cost on average? Does anyone have any experience making an insurance claim on their treatment? If so, were the costs paid in full?


F, 45, Connecticut

Sorry you are dealing with stubborn acne! I had to endure it as a teenager and then later as an adult and now my son is dealing with it. I was very lucky when mine responded to a retinoid cream, but unfortunately, my son's was much more severe and we had to try everything before finally realizing that Accutane was likely the best option for him. 

Unfortunately, even generic Accutane is pretty expensive, even for low doses. Without insurance, it can cost $350-$400 a month. However, thankfully, our health insurance plan covers most of the cost of my son's medication, and we just have to pay the small co-pay each month. 

Our insurance company did not give us a hassle about covering the cost of it, thankfully. Since my son had tried pretty much every other treatment before his dermatologist prescribed it, they covered it. Good luck with whatever acne treatment you choose!

It really depends on your prescription insurance coverage but most insurance companies do cover Accutane if your dermatologist diagnoses you with severe or chronic acne. Basically, even if your acne isn’t terrible, if you’ve had it for longer than year, your dermatologist can prescribe Accutane and your insurance should cover it. Usually the price is around $35-$70 with insurance coverage. Without insurance, a month’s supply can be anywhere from $300-$600! There’s also a patient assistance program that pays for a portion of the prescription if you don’t have prescription insurance. Your best bet is to call your insurance company and see how much it will cost. Another thing to consider is the price of dermatologist appointments and lab work every month (you have to get lab work done monthly to make sure your liver isn’t being damaged by Accutane.) Those are usually covered by insurance as well but it’s a good idea to figure out how much the treatment will cost as a whole.

It's common to hear about people paying as much as $300 for a one-month supply of 30 or 40 mg Accutane, and prices may go even higher at some pharmacies. Keep in mind that Accutane is prescribed for severe cystic acne, and most patients receive this treatment only after many over-the-counter treatments fail to deliver satisfying results. It's considered a last resort, so you may have to jump through some hoops before your doctor will prescribe the medication for you.

Most insurance plans will cover Accutane when it's prescribed for severe acne that doesn't respond to other treatment options. If your insurance company denies coverage, you can often submit documentation from your doctor stating the severity of your condition and the reasons that you need this treatment to clear your acne. This is often enough to secure approval for Accutane coverage. How much of the cost your insurance covers will depend on the terms of your policy. In many cases, you just have to pay your usual copay for prescription medications.

The cost of Accutane will depend on if you have insurance. If you don't, it'll run you as high as $1719/mo at a pharmacy like Walgreens. You can get a coupon online though from GoodRX or SingleCare, and that should drive the cost down to around $402. I would also recommend going to CVS or Costco, which in my experience are cheaper pharmacies than Walgreens. If you do have insurance, you could pay as little as $5-10 per month for an Accutane prescription. 

With my insurance, my Absorica costs $75/month. If I was taking Claravis, it would only be $15/mo. My doctor told me Absorica is absorbed better than Claravis and that's why I'm on the more expensive medication. 

My insurance covered it and it was only $15 a month. Well worth it!