Mekinist (trametinib) is a brand-name drug prescribed for certain types of cancer. It’s available as an oral tablet and oral powder. The cost of Mekinist, with and without insurance, can depend on several factors.

Mekinist is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat specific types of lung cancer, melanoma, anaplastic thyroid cancer, and solid tumors in adults. Mekinist is also approved to treat certain solid tumors and low grade gliomas (a brain tumor), in some situations, in children ages 1 year and older.

Doctors may prescribe Mekinist alone or with another drug called dabrafenib (Tafinlar). Whether you receive Mekinist alone or with Tafinlar depends on the condition Mekinist is prescribed to treat.

To learn about the cost of Mekinist and ways to save on your prescription, keep reading. For other information about this drug, including Mekinist’s uses, side effects, and dosage, see this article.

As with all medications, the cost of trametinib (Mekinist) can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:

  • your treatment plan
  • your insurance coverage
  • the pharmacy you use
  • whether Mekinist has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)

To find out what the cost of Mekinist will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Mekinist is only available as a brand-name drug. It doesn’t come in a generic version. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.


Brand-name drugs can be expensive because of the research needed to test their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell it for up to 20 years. When the brand-name drug’s patent expires, multiple manufacturers can create generic versions. This marketplace competition may lead to lower costs for generics. Also, because generics contain the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t require the same costly testing.

If you take Mekinist long term, you may be able to lower its cost in the following ways.

Getting a 3-month supply

You may be able to get a 90-day supply of Mekinist. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Using a mail-order pharmacy

Mekinist may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.

If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you need financial support to pay for Mekinist, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:

  • A program called the Novartis Oncology Universal Co-Pay Program is available for Mekinist. For more information and to find out whether you’re eligible for support, call 877-577-7756 or visit the program website.
  • The Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation is available for people who can’t afford the cost of Mekinist. For more information and to find out whether you’re eligible for support, call 800-277-2254 or visit the foundation’s website.
  • Some websites provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services. Two such websites are:

Note that financial assistance and copay programs may also apply to the cost of Mekinist and Tafinlar together. For more information, you can visit the program websites or talk with your doctor.

To learn more about saving money on prescriptions with or without insurance, check out this article.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Mekinist.

Is Mekinist covered by Medicare?

It may be. You can call your Medicare plan provider to learn whether your particular plan covers the cost of this drug. There are many types of Medicare plans, so your coverage and what you pay for prescriptions will be based on your particular plan’s benefits.

The total price you pay for your treatment may depend on the price of dabrafenib (Tafinlar), too. This is because your doctor may prescribe Mekinist with Tafinlar, depending on your condition. You may also need to get prior authorization before your plan will cover the cost of Mekinist.

Your doctor may also be able to provide information about your treatment costs if you have Medicare.

Do Mekinist 0.5-mg tablets cost less than the 2-mg tablets?

It’s possible since Mekinist 0.5-milligram (mg) tablets contain less of the active ingredient trametinib than the 2-mg tablets. However, there are many factors that can affect the cost of a medication, such as:

  • your drug copay amount (if you have insurance)
  • the pharmacy you use
  • your dosage and treatment plan

If you’re taking the tablets and have concerns about the trametinib 2-mg cost, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help determine how the cost of trametinib 0.5-mg and 2-mg tablets compares. If you have insurance, you’ll also need to contact your insurance provider.

Note that Mekinist also comes as a powder. A pharmacist mixes it with water to make an oral solution. Your doctor will prescribe the drug form and strength that’s right for you.

How can I determine how much my Mekinist treatment will cost?

Before starting treatment with Mekinist, talk with your doctor about your treatment plan. Depending on your condition, your doctor may prescribe Mekinist with Tafinlar. If so, you’ll need to consider the cost of both medications.

The price you’ll pay for Mekinist with or without Tafinlar depends on several factors. These include:

  • whether you apply and qualify for a savings program (see also “Financial assistance and insurance” above)
  • your particular insurance plan drug copay (if you’re using insurance)
  • your dosage and treatment plan
  • the form and strength of the drug you’re prescribed
  • the pharmacy you use

Your doctor and pharmacist may be able to help you determine the cost of Mekinist or Mekinist and Tafinlar. You may also need to contact your insurance provider about copays and the need for prior authorization. (For details about this, see the section just below.)

Below is information you may want to consider if you have insurance and receive Mekinist.

If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Mekinist. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Mekinist in regard to your treatment. The insurance company will then determine whether the medication is covered.

If a drug requires prior authorization but you start treatment without the prior approval, you could pay the full cost of the medication. You can ask your insurance company whether Mekinist requires prior authorization.

If you have questions about this process, contact your doctor or your insurance provider.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.