Why is Kybella so expensive?

I've read that Kybella will cost just as much, and probably even more than liposuction. The only benefit of Kybella is privacy, not having to wear that garment for 1 week, and advertise to the whole world you got lipo. I'm pretty sure, whatever the results, it will never be as good as lipo. I don't see where the cost is coming from, is supposed to be lower than lipo since is only injections, and after being hyped so much, you're just basically paying for the doctor's degree, and vacations.

Doctor Answers 62

Kybella Cost

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Yes, the cost-of-good (price per vial) set by the company is exorbitant, to put it mildly. Yes, liposuction (between $1500-4500, depending on the provider and area of the country) remains a phenomenal treatment for submental fat. Yes, the cost of the Kybella procedure will likely drop precipitously in the not-too-distant future as a result of poor demand due to cost.


Austin Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Pricing for Kybella

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Kybella was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of excessive submental fat. Currently, it is the only product on the market with this indication. The company has set a high price point initially to offset the cost of extensive testing to ensure safety and efficacy of the product. Depending on demand, it is possible that the price will be lowered in the future.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Kybella and Cost

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Kybella is a very expensive procedure but works extremely well.  Allergan bought the company that developed Kybella and now increased the price to market it.  Since there is no direct competition they can set the price.  It may take quite a while before the price comes down.  The price may drop in the future if there is a similar product. I often combine Kybella with Thermage to treat the neck area and tighten the skin laxity at the same time. If you have a large area of submental fat you can have the Cool-mini performed by Coolsculpting and this may be less expensive for you. I often use several different modalities to treat my patients in the neck. I find that this combination yields the best results in my office.  Best, Dr. Green

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Kybella Expense

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Kybella is expensive for two reasons. First, it is a new treatment, and the only non-invasive injectable approved for the treatment of submental fullness. Second, the company which developed Kybella is the sole patent holder and wants to recoup costs incurred during the development and approval process. Until the patent runs out and other companies can develop competing alternatives, Kybella will, unfortunately, continue to be expensive.

Suzanne M. Quardt, MD
Palm Springs Plastic Surgeon

Kybella is Excellent for Small Double Chins

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Kybella is an excellent alternative for small double chins.  Liposuction or Smart Lipo would entail more time, costs, and recovery.  One or two vials of Kybella can be injected at one sitting and no surgery is required.
My experience is very positive.  I do agree if several treatments will be necessary, it might be better to do a formal Smart Lipo to the chin.

Not an Inexpensive Treatment

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I agree that Kybella is not an inexpensive treatment.  However, it's dependent on how many vials you would need.  If you only need 1-3 vials, I think the cost is very reasonable.  Where I don't think it's a good idea is if you have a larger amount of submental fat that needs to be removed.  If the area is larger, then liposuction is a much better idea.  Kybella is not great for larger necks. I typically only recommend Kybella if the area that needs to be treated is small.  Plus liposuction is still a surgical procedure which requires pain medication and tumescent anesthesia.  Kybella is a very quick office procedure that can have minimal downtime.

William Kwan, MD, FAAD
San Francisco Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Kybella Avoids Surgery for Those who will Avoid Surgery at Any Cost!

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Kybella was developed by Kythera and recently purchased by Allergan.  It was an expensive purchase and some of that has been passed on to the final cost.  

A reason that Allergan paid dearly is because the clinical trials involved thousands of patients.  Many of the important questions (how much to be effective, how much to stay safe) were worked out pretty thoroughly in the expensive clinical trials.  

Most patients need 3- 4 treatments, one month apart.  It is true that liposuction of the neck is less money than most Kybella series.  

I offer both options, and let patients choose.  Some patients simply do not want to have a short (30 minute) outpatient procedure, and now they have a safe and effective choice.  

Why is Kybella so expensive

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I agree with you.  For many patients, Kybella does not make sense economically.  The price is at least in part dictated by the manufacturer and as it is the only product of its kind on the market, they have the ability to set the price high.  Since the cost of the product is high, most doctors will pass that on to the patient.  The cost and cumulative down time (2-3 days after each injection) adds up when you factor in successive treatments.  As a facial plastic surgeon, I would prefer to perform submental liposuction over injections any day.    But for the right patient, there are benefits to Kybella - for someone with mild submental fat who wants to avoid surgery, one or two treatments with Kybella may be sufficient.  My hope is that the manufacturer will come down on the price with time, and you will see doctors offices charging less as well. 

Catherine Weng, MD
Denver Otolaryngologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Cost of Kybella & "treatment to completion"

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The cost of a service depends on many things - the perceived benefit of the service, the cost of alternative options, the cost to keep the product in inventory, the cost of overhead, the cost of marketing, the cost of compensating the provider.

Kybella may not be optimally priced, but it is an effective product and the results are permanent.  In order to help our patients with budgeting, we offer a "treatment-to-completion" package.  For one up-front price, we treat their submental fullness until they are satisfied.  We do a combination of Coolsculpting, subcu Profound, and Kybella.

Why is Kybella expensive?

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Kybella is the only FDA approved drug that causes permanent fat reduction in the chin.  It has no nonsurgical competition and the drug is exorbitantly priced by the manufacturer.  Hopefully, the pricing will come down in the future but currently the drug remains popular as people really don't like double chins!

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

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