The Top 10 Most Expensive Popular Brand-Name Drugs in the U.S. (and How to Save)

Anna WellsLauren Chase
Written by Anna Wells | Analysis by Lauren Chase
Updated on July 14, 2021

Key takeaways:

  • Brand-name medications are always going up in price — especially those for certain autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

  • No generics are available, and the medications are often in a higher price tier, putting them further out of reach for those who need them.

  • But drug manufacturers often have savings programs to help you get the medications you need.

Data represented in different ways

Brand drugs are expensive — this we already know, and prices seem to only be increasing. Of the 100 most-prescribed brand-name medications, those for diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease tend to be the most expensive. All of the drugs on this list are brand-only medications, meaning there are no affordable generic alternatives available.

Additionally, it can be difficult for people to receive adequate insurance coverage for many of these drugs as they may be placed in more expensive, higher-tier formularies or have some other coverage restrictions.

The following are the 10 most expensive, popular, brand-name drugs. The numbers are based on analysis of cash prices for the top-100 brand drugs, based on a representative sample of U.S. prescription fills. Reported prices are based on the cash price at the pharmacy — the so-called “usual and customary” price. (They don’t include insurance copayments or coinsurance payments.)


Humira, used to treat Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, tops the list of expensive brand drugs with cash prices averaging $9,065 per month. Since 2014, the list price for Humira, the official price set by the manufacturer, has increased by 138%. 

To add insult to injury, Humira is often placed in higher-tier insurance formularies with higher copays, and many plans have a prior authorization requirement and/or quantity limit for Humira. You can read more about these terms here. But, in sum, they may limit access to insurance coverage for some patients.

Here are some ways to save on Humira. First off, manufacturer AbbVie offers both the Humira Complete Savings Card, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs to as little as $5 per month, and the myAbbVie Assist program, which can make Humira free for patients who qualify. Check our Humira savings tips page for more information on these programs. Additionally, two Humira biosimilars, Cyltezo and Amjevita, have been approved recently that should be cheaper, so stay tuned for when they hit the market.


Cosentyx, used to treat psoriasis, comes in at number two, with an average monthly cash price of $8,907. And on top of the steep price, Cosentyx continues to get more expensive — since 2014, it has increased in price by 73%. 

Luckily, there are some ways to save. Manufacturer Novartis offers the Cosentyx Connect program that can help reduce your copay to as little as $0 per fill. Through this program, Novartis will also connect you with a support specialist to help you through your first year of treatment with Cosentyx. 


Enbrel is a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and it’s expensive — cash prices average $8,717 per month. Since 2014, prices for Enbrel have increased by 153%, and there’s no decline in sight.

So, how can you save? Manufacturer Amgen offers the Enbrel Co-Pay Card, which can reduce copays to as little as $5 per month, and the Amgen Safety Net Foundation program, which can make Enbrel free to patients who qualify. Read our Enbrel savings tips here for more information.


Otezla is a medication used to treat plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and certain oral ulcers. Coming in at number four, Otezla is a new addition to the most expensive list with an average monthly cash price of $6,193. Since 2014, Otezla has increased in price by 104%.

Otezla can be difficult to obtain since it is a limited distribution drug and only available at select specialty formulas. In addition, it is only covered by 51% of Medicare plans. 

Luckily, Amgen, the manufacturer of Otezla, offers a few different ways for patients to save. The $0 Copay Card reduces monthly copays to $0 for insured patients, and the Amgen Patient Assistance Program can help provide no-cost medication for patients who qualify. 


Dupixent is a drug used to treat eczema and asthma. Like fellow expensive drugs Humira, Cosentyx, and Enbrel, Dupixent is a biologic drug, so it is derived from living cells and difficult to create a generic alternative for. The average cash price for a 30-day supply of Dupixent is $5,298. Over 80% of insurance plans cover Dupixent, but many have restrictions. Since 2017, Dupixent has increased in price by 13%.

So, how can you save? Manufacturer Sanofi offers Dupixent MyWay, a patient support program. Along with resources such as one-on-one nursing support and supplemental injection training, this support program offers a MyWay Copay Card that reduces copays to $0 for eligible insured patients. This Dupixent MyWay program can also help uninsured patients receive their medications at a lower cost. 


Biktarvy is a medication used to treat HIV. Biktarvy is a combination drug: It’s created by combining three different antiretroviral medications together in one tablet. Biktarvy can be easier for patients since it is a one-pill, once-a-day treatment, but it is expensive: The average cash price is $4,083 per month. Luckily, Biktarvy hasn’t seen substantial price increases over the years. Since 2018, the price has only increased by 15%

To help with costs, manufacturer Gilead offers the Advancing Access Co-Pay Program. This copay program covers up to $7,200 in copays per year for eligible insured patients. Gilead also offers a patient assistance program that can help uninsured patients get Biktarvy for free. 


Genvoya is an HIV drug that combines four different medications in one little pill, rather than forcing patients to adhere to a multi-pill regimen. But, not surprisingly, it is very expensive: A 30-day supply costs an average of $4,061. On many insurance formularies, Genvoya is a Tier 2 drug, which means that copays can be manageable for most. However, some plans have restrictions (like prior authorizations or quantity limits), while patients with no coverage may need to pay the full cash price. Lastly, Genvoya has increased in price by about 32% since 2015.

So, since Genvoya works so well, how can you save? Manufacturer Gilead offers both the Advancing Access Copay Card, which can help insured patients save up to $7,200 per year, and a patient assistance program, which can help patients get Genvoya for free.


Descovy is a medication that can be used to both treat HIV and to lower the chance of getting HIV through sex. The average cash price for Descovy is $2,195 per month. While it was approved in 2016, it has seen some price increases. Since its launch, Descovy has increased in price by 32% 

Descovy, like Biktarvy and Genvoya, is also manufactured by Gilead. So eligible insured patients using Descovy can save up to $7,200 a year through the Advancing Access Copay Card, and the patient assistance program can help uninsured patients get Descovy for free. 


Tivicay is a medication that can be used, in combination with other medicines, to treat HIV. Like the other drugs used to treat HIV on this list, Tivicay is immensely expensive. The average cash price is $2,150 per month, and the price only continues to grow. Since 2014, the price has increased by 63%.

Here are some ways to save on Tivicay. Manufacturer ViiV offers a ViiVConnect Savings Card. With this card insured patients can pay as little as $0 per copay, with maximum annual savings of $5,000. ViiV also offers a patient savings program that can help eligible uninsured or underinsured patients get Tivicay at no cost. 


Latuda is an antipsychotic medication that is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Even though it’s last on this list of expensive drugs, it is still exceedingly expensive — the average cash price is $1,604 per month. Latuda has seen some steep increases over the years. Since 2014, it has increased in price by 121%. 

To help with costs, manufacturer Sunovion offers a Latuda Copay Savings Card to help insured patients lower their copay costs and a Sunovion Support prescription assistance program for uninsured patients. 

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Co-contributors: Tori Marsh, MPH, Lauren Chase, Sara Kim, MS 

The above analysis is Part 2 in our two-part series on expensive but widely used medications. In Part 1, we look at the most expensive popular generic medications in the U.S.:

10 Most Expensive Popular Generic Medications in the U.S.


SafeBiologics (n.d.). FDA approves sixth biosimilar; second for humira.

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. (2011). Welcome to sunovion support

View All References (1)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016). FDA approves amjevita, a biosimilar to humira.

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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