Symtuza (darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide) is a brand-name tablet that’s prescribed for HIV. The cost of the drug with and without insurance can depend on several factors, such as whether Symtuza has a savings program.
- Darunavir is a protease inhibitor.
- Cobicistat is a CYP3A inhibitor.
- Emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).
Symtuza is not available in a generic version.
Read on to learn about Symtuza and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions. If you’d like other information about Symtuza, refer to this article.
As with all medications, the cost of Symtuza can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your treatment plan
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
- whether Symtuza has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Symtuza 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 Symtuza. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Symtuza 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 Symtuza requires prior authorization.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Symtuza.
Does Symtuza cost less than Biktarvy or Tivicay?
It depends. Symtuza, Biktarvy (bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide), and Tivicay (dolutegravir) are drugs that doctors may prescribe for HIV.
The price of each drug depends on whether you have insurance, as well as your specific insurance plan.
The dosage and form you take may also affect cost. For example, Tivicay comes as an oral tablet and as a liquid suspension. Symtuza and Biktarvy are only available as oral tablets. A liquid suspension may cost more than a tablet.
It’s important to note that each drug has a program that offers financial assistance for those who qualify. For details on Symtuza’s financial assistance program, see “Financial and insurance assistance” below. To learn more about Biktarvy’s cost, refer to this article.
To find out how much you’ll pay for Symtuza versus Biktarvy or Tivicay, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Is Symtuza covered by Medicare?
It’s possible. If you have Medicare, the amount you’ll pay for Symtuza depends on your specific Medicare plan. For example, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans may have different copay options for the cost of brand-name drugs, such as Symtuza.
If you have private insurance, your cost similarly depends on your specific insurance plan. Some plans have fixed costs for drugs, while others may require you to pay a percentage of the drug’s cost. Also, some insurance plans may not cover Symtuza.
If you have questions about what you’ll pay for Symtuza with Medicare or other insurance, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or your insurance provider. To learn more about Medicare coverage for HIV treatments, see this article.
Symtuza 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 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 Symtuza 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 Symtuza. 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
Symtuza 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 Symtuza, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called Janssen CarePath is available for Symtuza. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-836-0114 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 Symtuza, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Symtuza. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Symtuza.
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 Symtuza, refer to this article.
- Information about HIV. 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.