Descovy (emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide) is a brand-name oral tablet that’s prescribed to help prevent HIV and to treat HIV in some adults and children. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors, such as whether Descovy has a savings program.
Read on to learn about Descovy and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions. If you’d like other information about Descovy, refer to this article.
As with all medications, the cost of Descovy can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- the reason you’re taking Descovy
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
- whether Descovy has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Descovy will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Descovy. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Descovy 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 Descovy requires prior authorization.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Descovy.
How does the cost of Descovy compare with the cost of Truvada?
The cost of Descovy compared with the cost of Truvada depends on several factors. One is whether you have insurance. Other factors include your specific insurance plan and whether the drug has a savings program.
Both Descovy and Truvada are pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications to help prevent HIV. Your doctor may prescribe PrEP if you have an increased chance of HIV. Descovy and Truvada are also used to treat HIV.
To find out the cost of Descovy compared with Truvada, talk with your insurance provider, pharmacist, or doctor. For information about Descovy savings programs, see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below. To learn more about the cost of Truvada, see this article.
Is there a coupon available for Descovy?
A copay coupon is available for Descovy. It’s part of the drug manufacturer’s savings program called the Gilead Advancing Access program. If you’re eligible for this program, the coupon card may help you save on your copay. A copay is the fee you pay for a prescription, while your insurance pays for the rest. It’s set by your insurance policy.
For more information about the Descovy coupon, see “Financial and insurance assistance” section below. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Descovy is available only as a brand-name drug. It doesn’t come in a generic version. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.
Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
WHY ARE COSTS DIFFERENT FOR BRAND-NAME DRUGS VS. GENERIC 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 Descovy 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 Descovy. 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
Descovy 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 Descovy, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called the Gilead Advancing Access program is available for Descovy. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 800-226-2056 or visit the program 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:
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions with or without insurance, check out this article.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Descovy, you may still have some questions. It may be helpful to talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Descovy. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Descovy.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare prescription drug plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Descovy, refer to this article.
- Dosage. Learn about Descovy and dosage by viewing this article.
- Side effects. For details about Descovy’s side effects, see this article. You can also look at the Descovy prescribing information.
- How Descovy works. To learn how Descovy works to help prevent HIV, view this article.
- Interactions. You can find out more about what Descovy interacts with by visiting this article.
- Drug comparison. Find out how Descovy compares with Truvada and Biktarvy.
- Information about your condition. For more information about HIV, see our HIV and AIDS hub.
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.