How Much Is Ketamine Therapy, And How Can You Pay?
Getting to psychedelics is becoming easier each day and the topic of cost and payment has slowly become more important. Specifically, one question may be: How much is ketamine therapy, and what are ways to pay?
Ketamine is a well-known anesthetic, who’s properties made it popular in the medical field. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the interest in ketamine therapy spiked, making researchers around the world wonder about its potential healing properties.
Today, there are many uses for ketamine to help treat mental health disorders — such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In fact, a nasal spray medication of ketamine (esketamine) has gained FDA approval specifically for treatment-resistant depression.
With this revelation, many people may wonder how much is ketamine therapy, and how can someone pay for it? We help explain.
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Ketamine Therapy With Spravato
Ketamine (esketamine) nasal spray, also called Spravato, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant is an FDA-approved therapy for those diagnosed with chronic depression which doesn’t seem to respond to any other type of treatment.
Today’s treatment for depression often consists of medications, or a number of different medications. However, not all medications work the same in each individual. Therefore, many people often switch medications to find the right one, leaving them with little to no improvement overall.
This is where psychedelics may be an option.
All the positive results that psychedelics have shown so far give hope to those who’ve exhausted all options and therefore push the governments to lower the legal bar and help get alternative treatment to as many people as possible.
Spravato nasal spray is the first FDA-approved psychedelic drug. This means a person can get a prescription with official proof of treatment-resistant depression. Additionally, it’s only available through a restricted distribution system under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS).
Who Is Eligible For Ketamine Therapy?
In order to qualify for psychedelic-assisted therapy, one must be diagnosed with major depressive disorder. This means a person has not responded to other types of treatment — such as antidepressants.
Due to ketamine’s dissociative characteristics, a healthcare provider with proper training must be present. This means supervision for at least two hours following administration at a clinic. Under no circumstances will a person be able to take nasal spray home to administer themselves.
The official Spravato website states that both commercial or private insurance covers the drug. This leaves room for interpretation, depending on each insurance plan. They do offer a special Jannsen CarePath savings program that has a patient pay only $10 out of pocket for each session.
To take it without insurance, the price is about $723 for a supply of two sprays, depending on the pharmacy.
How Much Is Ketamine Therapy?
Spravato is currently the only legal psychedelic therapy which has approval by insurance. Still, ketamine clinics nationwide offer another treatment option — despite no specific regulations.
Ketamine infusions are probably even more popular than the nasal spray. To get one, expect to spend between $400 and $800 per infusion, with some providers charging even more. Since there’s no regulation, pretty much every clinic can set their own price.
In addition, prior to starting treatment, a person must undergo an initial assessment and consultation — roughly costing about $350. This brings the price of only one infusion to around $1,000, and usually you need 4-6 infusions.
Since ketamine infusions aren’t FDA-approved, the existing studies aren’t enough for ketamine to be covered by insurance. Research is still ongoing, and, until that changes, paying out of pocket is often the only available option.
Unfortunately, this creates a multitude of problems.
The number of people who can try them out remains small which doesn’t help fund further research which doesn’t help accelerate the FDA-approval process. In order for the drug (or treatment) to gain approval, the FDA must assure its safety for consumers. Once the stamp of approval is there, they cannot back from their claims. Since they cannot be sure how the treatment will affect an individual, they are holding off from their approval, and with it, any official regulations.
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Still, since every ketamine clinic administers them, this leaves room for different experiences at different locations. Your infusion may vary in dosage, preparation and post-care, education of those administering it, as well as the final price for the complete treatment.
The Future of Ketamine
The FDA-approval of Spravato shows that the positive results of ketamine do exist and could potentially help those fighting treatment-resistant depression. New rounds of research and clinical trials will push the legal barriers further away, making the treatment available for more people. This will then inevitably lead to ketamine infusions and their approval and regulation. We just have to wait and see.
Wondering if ketamine therapy is right for you? Be sure to know what questions to ask a health provider before exploring it as an option. This includes understanding if Spravato is a viable option for your diagnosis and situation.
If getting a recommendation, check with your health insurance to find the best way to cover treatment. Financial limitations can be daunting, and may prevent some people who are seeking alternative options.