Descovy (emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide) is a prescription drug that’s used to manage HIV. Descovy’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.

Descovy is used to:

  • treat HIV in adults and some children
  • help lower the risk of adults and adolescents contracting HIV

Descovy is available as tablets that you swallow. It contains two active ingredients: emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work in the body.)

For more details on Descovy, see this in-depth article.

The price you pay for Descovy can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how much you’ll pay for Descovy, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover Descovy. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Descovy in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Descovy requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether Descovy requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Descovy and cost.

How does the cost of Descovy compare with the cost of Truvada?

The cost of Descovy compared with Truvada’s cost can vary based on several factors.

What you pay for each drug depends on:

  • whether you have insurance coverage or are paying out of pocket
  • your dosage
  • the quantity of the drug you’re prescribed (such as a 30-day or 90-day supply)
  • if you’re eligible for any cost-saving programs
  • the pharmacy you use

To find out the exact cost difference between Descovy and Truvada, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Is there a coupon available for Descovy?

Yes. The company that makes Descovy offers a program called Advancing Access. If you have private insurance, you may be eligible for the copay coupon program. If you don’t have private insurance, their program specialists can look into other options that may help lower your cost of Descovy.

To learn more, you can visit the company’s website. You can also discuss the program with your doctor or insurance provider.

Other cost-saving options may be available to you. To learn more, see the “Can I get help paying for Descovy?” section below.

Descovy only comes as a brand-name drug. It’s not currently available 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 is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?

Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The drugmaker of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.

If you take Descovy long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:

Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of Descovy if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of Descovy. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for Descovy. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through 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 help covering the cost of Descovy or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you still have questions about the cost of Descovy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Descovy.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • Does the cost of Descovy depend on whether I’m using it as HIV treatment or as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?
  • How does the cost of Descovy compare with the cost of other HIV medications?
  • Are there ways to lower my cost of Descovy if I don’t have insurance?

To learn more about Descovy, see these articles:

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

Disclaimer: Healthline 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.