A generic version of Truvada, one of the PrEP medications, is now available in the United States from Teva Pharmaceuticals. They negotiated a deal with Gilead Sciences to come to market one year early – yaay! But, the cost of this new generic version of Truvada is only a couple of hundred dollars less than Truvuda for a one-month supply coming in at about $1,400/month versus $1,800/month.
Why? Basically, they are the exclusive generic provider for the next 6 months, so they can set the price with only one competitor (brand label Truvuda) for a slight savings. In 6 months, more companies can produce generic Truvada which will likely draw the price down. Other generics for Truvada sell in other countries for about $25/month.
If you’re insured by United Healthcare, you’ve likely already been switched to the generic version without an option. It’s been reported United will not charge any out-of-pocket costs for people utilizing the generic medication. Truvada (and the newer PrEP medication, Descovy) are both still covered by Gilead’s Copay Assistance Program for up to $7,200/year to cover copays and deductibles. If you choose to switch to the new generic, Teva is offering it’s own Copay Assistance Program that will cover no more than $600 per month. While the coverage is the same annually as Gilead’s Copay Program, Gilead has an annual limit to assist people who have high-deductible insurance plans who may face the full cost of a medication at the beginning of a plan year. However, the Teva Program has a $600 monthly limit, which can hit your wallet hard at the beginning of a plan year if you have a high deductible for medications.
As always, talk with your provider and your Pharmacist about what is the best option for you. If all of this is confusing as hell (we agree) – feel free to contact Spectrum Medical’s PrEP Navigation Team for a free navigation appointment to find the right solution for you (tele appointments available). Contact Spectrum Medical today and ask for an appointment with the PrEP Navigation Team: (602) 604-9500