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Head & Neck Cancer

Drugs for Head & Neck Cancer

Here are the drugs and financial support services available to patients receiving treatment for Head & Neck Cancer.

Erbitux (cetuximab)

Drug company: Eli Lilly
866-472-8663

Erbitux is an EGFR antagonist used for the treatment of patients with locally or regionally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, in combination with radiation therapy; recurrent locoregional disease or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, in combination with platinum-based therapy with 5-fluorouracil; and recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, progressing after platinum-based therapy.

Lilly PatientOne offers 2 financial assistance programs for patients using Erbitux:

Lilly PatientOne Co-pay Program

For patients with private insurance who cannot afford their copay, this program provides up to $25,000 annually so that the patient pays no more than $25 per dose of Erbitux.

Lilly Cares Foundation Patient Assistance Program

For eligible patients with no medical insurance (or those whose insurance does not cover drug therapy) and a household income up to 500% or less of the federal poverty level, this program provides Erbitux at no cost.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab)

Drug company: Merck
855-257-3932

Keytruda is a PD-1 inhibitor used for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous-cell cancer.

The Merck Access Program offers 2 financial assistance programs for patients using Keytruda:

Merck Co-pay Assistance Program

Privately insured patients will pay the first $25 of their copay per Keytruda infusion. The maximum benefit per calendar year is $25,000 for patients with an income level up to 700% of the federal poverty level, and $10,000 for patients with an income above 700% of the federal poverty level.

Merck Patient Assistance Program

Patients without insurance or prescription coverage may be eligible to receive free Keytruda. Eligible patients must have a household income of $60,700 or less for individuals, $82,300 or less for a couple, or $125,000 or less for a family of 4. Patients with insurance, including Medicare Part D, who still have trouble paying for their medicines may request that an exception be made, provided their household income is not above a set limit.

Opdivo (nivolumab)

Drug company: Bristol-Myers Squibb
800-861-0048

Opdivo is a PD-1 inhibitor used for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Access Support offers 2 financial assistance programs for patients using Opdivo:

BMS Oncology Co-Pay Assistance Program

This program provides financial assistance with the out-of-pocket deductibles, copay, or coinsurance costs for eligible, privately insured patients who have been prescribed Opdivo. Patients pay a $25 copay, while BMS covers the remaining amount, up to $25,000 annually per medication.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation

Patients who don’t have public or private insurance that helps to pay for Opdivo, may be eligible for help paying for their prescription medication if they receive treatment as an outpatient and have an annual income of less than 300% of the federal poverty level, up to $36,420 for an individual or $49,380 for a family of 2.

Taxotere (docetaxel)

Drug company: Sanofi
888-847-4877

Taxotere is a microtubule inhibitor used, in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil, for induction treatment of locally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

Sanofi Patient Connection

(Sanofi Patient Connection currently does not offer financial assistance for Taxotere.)

Table. Drugs Prescribed for Head and Neck Cancer

  • Drug name (generic name)
  • Drug company
  • Indication
  • Patient support services

    Drug name (generic name)
  • Erbitux (cetuximab)
  • Drug company
  • Eli Lilly
  • Indication
  • Advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, in combination with
    radiation therapy

    Recurrent locoregional or ­metastatic squamous-cell ­carcinoma of the head and neck, in combination with platinum-based therapy with 5-fluorouracil

    Recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, progressing after platinum-based therapy
  • Patient support services
  • Lilly PatientOne Co-pay Program
    866-472-8663

    Lilly Cares Foundation Patient Assistance Program
    800-545-6962



    Drug name (generic name)
  • Taxotere (docetaxel)
  • Drug company
  • Sanofi
  • Indication
  • Treatment of locally advanced squamous-­cell carcinoma of the head and neck, in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil
  • Patient support services
  • (No specific program)
    888-847-4877

Last modified: March 7, 2019

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