If you’re looking at treatment or prevention options for HIV, you may want to learn more about Truvada.

Truvada is a prescription drug that’s used for the following purposes in adults and some children:

Truvada comes as a tablet that you take by mouth. It’s a combination drug that has two active ingredients: emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Keep reading for details on Truvada and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.

Note: For more information on Truvada, see this in-depth article.

The price you pay for Truvada 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 Truvada, including what your cost per month may be, 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 Truvada. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Truvada in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Truvada 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 Truvada requires prior authorization.

Truvada is available as the generic combination drug emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug.

Generics generally cost less than brand-name drugs, but you may be able to get Truvada for no cost. (For more information, see the “Can I get help paying for Truvada?” section below.)

To find out how the costs of Truvada and generic emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If you’ve been prescribed Truvada and you’re interested in using generic emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other.

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 manufacturer 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.

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

What is Truvada’s cost with insurance vs. without insurance?

Your cost for Truvada depends on your health insurance and the pharmacy you choose. Access to Truvada is supported by several public health initiatives, so you have several options to lower your cost.

For a few resources that may help you save on the price of Truvada, see the “Can I get help paying for Truvada?” section below. For more ways to lower your cost for the drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, insurance provider, or local public health department.

Is there a copay card available that could lower my out-of-pocket costs for Truvada?

There are several options to lower your insurance copay (a fixed amount that you may have to pay for your medication) or out-of-pocket cost for Truvada. The drugmaker’s website has more information about how to lower your price for the drug. If you’re eligible, the Gilead Advancing Access program could help you save on your copay.

For a few more resources, see the “Can I get help paying for Truvada?” section below.

If you take Truvada 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 Truvada if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of Truvada. 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 Truvada. 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. The Ready, Set, PrEP program also has a mail-order option. (For more information about this program, see the next section.)

If you need help covering the cost of Truvada 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. The drugmaker’s website also has more details about how to save money on Truvada.

The United States government has a program called Ready, Set, PrEP that offers low cost or no-cost options to those who are eligible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a website to help find additional Truvada cost-saving resources.

Depending on where you live, your local public health department could be a good resource for cost-saving options on Truvada.

Your doctor or pharmacist may also be able to suggest ways to lower the cost of Truvada.

If you still have questions about Truvada’s cost, 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 to your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Truvada.

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

  • Does the public health department in my state have a program where I can get Truvada at no cost?
  • Will Truvada cost less at a pharmacy or a clinic?
  • To reduce the cost of Truvada, am I eligible for the Gilead Advancing Access program?
  • If I can’t afford Truvada, what are my other options?

To learn more about Truvada, see these articles:

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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.