Does Medicare Cover Rituxan?

In this article...
  • Rituxan is an injectable medication used to help treat and manage a variety of medical conditions, and Medicare may help cover some of its costs. Learn more.

Rituxan is a monoclonal antibody medication that's used to help treat conditions such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rituxan is administered four times a year via infusion, and it works in the body by attaching to the surfaces of red blood cells and helping the immune system fight off cancer cells and decrease inflammation.

Is Rituxan Covered by Medicare?

Medicare Part B plans generally cover Rituxan if the medication is deemed medically necessary by a physician. Medicare Advantage plans must cover all medically necessary treatments and procedures covered by Medicare, so it should also cover Rituxan. Specific Medicare Advantage plan availability may vary based on geographical locations, so Medicare recipients should check with their plan providers to verify coverage. 

Individuals with Medicare Part B are generally responsible for 20% of Rituxan costs once they meet the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $233 in 2022.

The cost per Rituxan is approximately $99 per unit, and it's sold in 10-, 50- and 100-milliliter quantities. Rituxan must be administered by a medical professional, so it's not usually sold in pharmacies. 

Is Rituxan Chemotherapy?

Rituxan is not a form of chemotherapy. When used to treat different types of cancer, Rituxan is administered alongside chemotherapy drugs. Rituxan is referred to as antibody therapy, and it helps the body's own cells destroy cancer cells. 

Does Rituxan Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss may occur in individuals treated with Rituxan for cancer and other conditions. However, research has shown that this side effect may be more common in those who take Rituxan to treat pemphigus vulgaris or PV, a condition that causes blisters to develop on the skin and mucous membranes. If hair loss does occur, individuals may experience hair loss of the scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows. In most cases, the hair grows back following treatment, but it may grow back in a different color and/or with a softer texture.

What Side Effects of Rituxan Are Considered Normal?

Common side effects of Rituxan include nausea, diarrhea, night sweats, heartburn and flushing. Individuals may also experience headache symptoms and feel weak following Rituxan infusions. While these side effects are considered normal, it's always a good idea for anyone taking Rituxan to advise their primary care physicians of any adverse reactions they may have. 

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