Truvada for HIV PrEP: How Much It Costs and How To Save

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Truvada?

Also known as PrEP (short for pre-exposure prophylaxis), Truvada is a mix of two anti-HIV medications, emtricitabine and tenofovir. These medications work to prevent the HIV virus from establishing an infection inside the body.

Studies have shown that Truvada can reduce the risk for HIV by up to 99% if taken correctly. Although researchers are still evaluating other dosing schedules, PrEP if most effective if you take it every day.

How much does Truvada cost?

Unfortunately, Truvada is expensive—the cash price for a 30-day supply is about $2,000 and continues to climb. In the past three years, the price per tablet increased by around 30%, from around $54 to $70. Not good.

When will generic Truvada be available?

Currently, a generic version of Truvada has been approved, but it may not be available for some time. Some estimate that the generic, emtricitabine / tenofovir, could be available as soon as September 2021.

Even though we will have to wait to see a generic, there are ways to save in the meantime.

Savings tip #1: Use your insurance or ask your doctor to submit an appeal

The best way to save on Truvada is to use your insurance. While Truvada is covered by most insurance plans, it is considered a tier 2 or tier 3 drug on many plans, which means it’s often “non-preferred,” and you may be on the hook for high out-of-pocket costs.

If Truvada isn’t covered by your insurance plan, ask your doctor about an appeal. The exact process will depend on your insurer, but you will likely have to work with your doctor to submit an appeal letter.

Savings tip #2: Save as much as $300 per month with a savings card

Manufacturer Gilead offers a savings card to help eligible patients save on Truvada.

Savings tip #3: Apply for a patient assistance program

Gilead also offers a savings program to help uninsured and underinsured patients get Truvada for free.


Savings tip #4: Speak to your doctor about other ways to save

If the above options don’t work for you, speak with your doctor about other ways to save. Your doctor may talk to you about filling a 90-day supply, that can be cheaper than a 30-day supply, or getting free samples.

You may also want to speak with your doctor about other HIV prevention options. While there isn’t a medication that is equivalent to Truvada, your doctor can share other affordable ways for you to prevent HIV transmission.

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