A Drug Is 90 Percent Effective At Preventing Hiv It Costs Up To $1800 Per Month
Nearly a decade after the U.S. approved a drug to prevent HIV, tens of thousands cant access the medicine, in part because of its cost. Under pressure to offer a more affordable alternative, Gilead released its exclusivity in a settlement agreement, allowing a generic version to come to market but the drug is almost as expensive as the brand-name version. The U.S. government has now stepped in, in a legal case heralded as a game-changer in drug pricing reform.
Can You Afford Your Hiv Treatment
HIV medications can be very expensive, so it pays to be savvy about programs available to help defray the costs.
Theres no getting around it: HIV drugs cost a lot of money. In fact, the lifetime cost of care for a person living with HIV can total hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the good news is that no one living with HIV in the United States has to pay the full cost out of his or her own pocket.
The average cost of HIV treatment is $14,000 to $20,000 a year, says Michael Kolber, MD, a professor of medicine and director of the Comprehensive AIDS Program and Adult HIV Services at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. If youre paying $1,000 a month, youre doing really well.
Modern HIV drugs can keep people healthy for decades, but if you take them you could be facing well over $400,000 or more in lifetime costs for HIV treatment. Unfortunately, real or perceived cost is a significant barrier to care data suggests that only about half of low-income people living with HIV are receiving the HIV drugs they need because of cost.
However, Dr. Kolber says, the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment has come down as HIV drugs have become more sophisticated. Single-dose or combination HIV drugs can significantly reduce direct costs and co-pays.
Paying for Your HIV Drugs
HIV drug costs can be covered in a variety of ways:
Coping With HIV Costs
The Cost of HIV: How to Reduce Your Burden
Cost Considerations And Antiretroviral Therapy
The clinical benefits, public health impact, and cost-effectiveness of HIV treatment have been well established since the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy ,1-6 and the expanded use of ART is one of the four pillars of the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” initiative.7, 8 However, HIV treatment with ART is costly. A 2015 study using 2012 health care expenditure data estimated that the discounted lifetime medical costs for an individual who acquires HIV at age 35 years is $326,500 , with 60% of the costs attributable to ART.9 The estimated, total direct expenditures for HIV/AIDS care and treatment between 2002 and 2011 was $10.7 billion annually, which is 800% to 900% higher than similar expenditures for other chronic conditions.10 These guidelines first included an antiretroviral cost table in 201211 , and since then, the overall cost of brand-name, first-line ARV regimens has increased by more than 30%,12 which is 3.5 times the rate of inflation. Total annual undiscounted spending on ARV drugs has more than doubled since 2010, reaching $22.5 billion in 2018.13, 14 Consequently, ART was among the top five therapeutic classes in non-discounted spending on medications in 2018, after medications for diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and respiratory disorders.14
Read Also: How Much Is Hiv Test
Costs Of Each Medication
There are currently two medications for PrEP: Truvada and Descovy.
Truvada is approved for PrEP for adult and adolescent cisgender and transgender males and cisgender and transgender females. Descovy was approved for PrEP in 2015, but it is only available for cis-gender males and transgender females currently.
So, how much does HIV treatment cost per year? A prescription can add up to over $21,000 annually as it costs $1,758.00 for a thirty-day supply if purchased without insurance or other payment programs.
It is important to note that PrEP must be taken consistently for at least seven days to 20 days to be most effective to prevent HIV transmission. PrEP is also significantly more effective when it is taken every single day as opposed to only a few times a week.
Your doctor may only prescribe you to take PrEP for a certain amount of time. However, it can be taken indefinitely if you are still considered to be at high risk of HIV transmission.
Make Best Use Of Adap Benefits
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program has long been considered the first-line resource for HIV medications for low- to middle -income Americans. Since its inception in 1987, the scope of the program has expanded considerably, with some states now integrating medical care, lab tests, insurance assistance, and even HIV preventive therapy into their benefits schedule.
As with other federally funded programs, eligibility is based largely on income, the thresholds of which can vary considerably from state to state. Proof of residency and documentation of HIV status are required.
While most states will limit eligibility to U.S. citizens and documented residents only, some like Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico have now extended ADAP assistance to undocumented immigrants, as well.
Meanwhile, six U.S. states restrict benefits to individuals or families whose personal net assets fall beneath a specific threshold, ranging from less than $25,000 in New York State to less than $4,500 in Georgia.
The current ADAP income eligibility thresholds are outlined as follows:
ADAP is typically considered a payer of last resort, meaning that, unless you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, you will need to enroll in some form of private or employer-based insurance.
Read Also: Can Hiv Spread Through Oral
Impact Of Secondary Transmission
In sensitivity analyses that included secondary transmission, the average HIV-infected person is expected to transmit HIV to 0.97 HIV-uninfected persons over his or her lifetime. The discounted medical cost saved by avoiding an HIV infection and delaying secondary transmission by 5 years is $270,300 .
What Assistance Programs Can Help
Here are some of the programs that will cover some or all the cost of Truvada:
Advancing Access Medication Assistance Program
Who sponsors it: Gilead, the maker of Truvada
What it covers: Out-of-pocket costs for Truvada, up to $7,200 per year. It doesn’t cover the costs of doctor visits or lab tests.
Ready, Set, PrEP
Who sponsors it: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Gilead, which donates 2.4 million bottles of Truvada and Descovy to the program each year
What it covers: The cost of Truvada
Who is eligible: People who don’t have prescription drug coverage, have tested negative for HIV, and have a prescription for Truvada
Co-Pay Relief Program
Who sponsors it: The Patient Advocate Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps people with chronic or life-threatening diseases
What it covers: Out-of-pocket costs for Truvada, up to $7,500 per year. It doesn’t cover the costs of doctor visits or lab tests.
Who is eligible: People who don’t have health insurance, or whose insurance plan doesn’t cover Truvada. Your income must be below 400% of the current federal poverty level.
Who sponsors it: Good Days, a nonprofit organization that offers resources for people who don’t have access to health care
What it covers: Out-of-pocket costs for Truvada, up to $7,500 per year
Don’t Miss: Would You Date Someone With Hiv
Amid Debate Over Regulating Price Of Medicine In Malaysia Cost Of Hiv Drugs Hits Record Low
Monday, 15 Jul 2019 07:03 AM MYT
Follow us on and subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 A single prescription of a generic antiretroviral therapy drug for HIV treatment once cost nearly RM2,000 in federal subsidies.
At government hospitals, patients would have to pay up to RM200 to help foot the bill.
Now, some of the medicine can be bought for as low as RM30.
The Health Ministry said the prices of these once-expensive drugs have dropped by more than two-thirds at least, which it attributes to the new governments move to liberalise the supply side.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad claimed eliminating the monopoly helped encourage competition.
Under previous Barisan Nasional administrations, the Pakatan Harapan leader said most drug supplies were sourced from crony vendors.
Previously, some of the products were single sourced i.e. no other competitor in the market, Dzulkefly, who is also Amanahs MP for Hulu Selangor, told Malay Mail.
For the public or government sector during tender process we get better pricing for products when there is no monopoly. The drop in price is between 76 and 88 per cent.
ART is a type of HIV treatment that uses antiretroviral medicine to treat HIV infection by inhibiting the virus and blocking its growth.
This, in turn, helps strengthens a patients immune system, as well as slow and stop symptoms and prevent HIV transmission to others.
You May Also Like
What Is The Cost Of Hiv Treatment Drugs In India
Answered by: Dr Chandra M Gulhati | Editor, MIMS, New Delhi
Q: What is the cost of HIV treatment medication in India. Currently I am in USA and it costs me $2000 per month.
A:We presume your enquiry is concerning the cost of drugs and not cost of treatment that will include non-drug charges for consultations, laboratory tests etc. Drugs are definitely cheaper in India due to the lower purchasing power of the population, lower cost of manufacture and absence of research expenses involved in the discovery of drugs. The cost of drugs will depend upon the medicines being consumed. As an illustration, we give below the prices of major anti-retroviral agents: Lamivudine 150 mg + zidovudine 300 mg: 10 tablets, Indian Rs. 274/- Lamivudine 150 mg: 10 tablets, Rs. 235/-Nevirapine 200 mg: 60 tablets, Rs. 1200/-Zidovudine 100 mg: 100 tablets, Rs. 2040/-Stavudine 30 mg: 10 tablets, Rs. 105/-Etavirenz 600 mg: 30 tablets, Rs. 2940/- Current exchange rate: US$ 1 = Indian Rs. 49/-
You May Like: How Much Does Hiv Treatment Cost Per Year
Who Is At Risk For Hiv
Although transmission factors are the same for everyone, some groups are more at risk for HIV than others. If you fall into one of the following categories, consider talking to your doctor about specific ways you can reduce your HIV risk.
While anyone is able to contract HIV, gay and bisexual men are more at risk than other gender groups. They accounted for 70 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2017, notes the CDC. Another important factor within this demographic is age – also according to the CDC, in 2010, gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 34 accounted for 64 percent of those new infections.
Due primarily to sharing needles, intravenous drug users are at a higher risk of acquiring HIV than non-users. HIV is also most commonly transmitted via sexual intercourse and sex workers often engage in sexual activity with many different partners, which can increase the risk of HIV. Mixing these two activities further increases the risk, according to the CDC.
Some ethnic and racial groups see relatively high concentrations of the virus in their communities. African-Americans are the most affected group in America, making up 43 percent of all new cases in 2017, according to the CDC. Hispanics/Latinos are also disproportionately affected, accounting for 26 percent of new diagnoses in 2017. Although smaller in size than other ethnic groups, the CDC notes that American Indians, Alaska and Hawaii natives, and Pacific islanders all experience higher rates of infection than Asians or whites.
Cost Of Hiv Treatment
The cost of HIV treatment is a complicated issue with an extremely wide range of costs due to varying factors such as the type of antiretroviral therapy and the country in which the treatment is administered. The first line therapy of HIV, or the initial antiretroviral drug regimen for an HIV-infected patient, is generally cheaper than subsequent second-line or third-line therapies. There is also a great variability of drug prices among low, middle, and high income countries. In general, low-income countries have the lowest cost of antiretroviral therapy, while middle- and high-income tend to have considerably higher costs. Certain prices of HIV drugs may be high and difficult to afford due to patent barriers on antiretroviral drugs and slow regulatory approval for drugs, which may lead to indirect consequences such as greater HIV drug resistance and an increased number of opportunistic infections. Government and activist movements have taken efforts to limit the price of HIV drugs.
In 2019 the government of India reported that it was supplying 2/3 of drugs for HIV treatment.
You May Like: Could You Have Hiv And Not Know
Consequences Of High Antiretroviral Therapy Costs
Some consequences of high antiretroviral drug prices include greater occurrences of HIV resistance and an increase in the number of opportunistic infections. Patients may have financial difficulties obtaining access to expensive drugs, resulting in greater difficulties in adhering to recommended drug regimens for adequate viral suppression. For example, the lack of cheap and easily accessible generic pediatric DTG has contributed to inadequate nevirapine-based treatments in 40% of children who followed an HIV treatment regimen. With suboptimal adherence to treatment, there is an increased risk of HIV drug resistance in which the previously used treatment would no longer adequately suppress the HIV infection. The detection for HIV resistance can also be difficult and expensive as well, rendering lower-middle income countries unable to have access to various resistance tests and identifying resistant patients for treatment switches. HIV patients who have already developed resistance to first-line treatment are often barred from overcoming their resistance due to the difficulty in obtaining second- or third-line treatments, which can be several times more expensive than first-line treatment.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
How Can the U.S. End Pharmas Anticompetitive Practices?
Limit anticompetitive pay for delay agreements that prevent or delay the introduction of lower cost generic or biosimilar products.
Restrict the number of patents that prescription drug manufacturers can defend in court to discourage the use of anticompetitive patent thickets.
Limit the patentability of so-called secondary patents which dont improve the safety or efficacy of a drug through patent and exclusivity reform.
Mitigate product hopping from a drug that is similar and offers minimal clinical value over a manufacturers existing marketed product by codifying the definition of a product hop to empower the Federal Trade Commission to challenge manufacturers anti-competitive behaviors to delay generic competition.
As far back as 1996, clinical studies at universities across the nation were showing a promising trend: A combination of antiviral drugs appeared to suppress HIV, commuting the virus from a certain death sentence to a lifelong, manageable condition.
About a decade ago, scientists discovered that antivirals could be used not just to reduce viral load, but to prevent HIV altogether. A combination antiviral called Truvada was approved for use as prevention in 2012, yet years later, the HIV epidemic continues to wage its toll.
An Innovative Drug, Paid For by Taxpayers
However, the price also presented a steep and frustrating barrier.
‘The Kind of Intervention We Need’
Recommended Reading: What To Do If I Have Hiv
Our Financial Resources Checklists And Tools Are Created With You In Mind
As personal finance geeks, we believe consumers should be able to make smart money decisions without having to be fully knowledgeable in finance. That’s why we not only partner with some of the best-in-the-industry experts, but also advertisers offering a variety of financial services that may benefit you. Our partners may influence how and where products appear on this site, but we ensure their services are aligned with our main goal: providing you with a wide variety of thoroughly researched resources and user-friendly tools to help guide you in your financial decisions.
Featured ExpertsAmesh Adalja
This guide was written by
In the U.S., just 17 percent of people living with HIV have health insurance through a private provider, and nearly 30 percent have no coverage at all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . That’s hard to digest considering the cost of HIV treatment: Care is not cheap, and it is a lifelong expense. Learn more about living with HIV, including potential costs and where to find financial support.
Does Medicare Cover Hiv Testing
Medicare Part B does cover one HIV screening per year if youre enrolled in Medicare Part B and meet one of the following conditions:
- You are age 15-65
- You are younger than 15 or older than 65 and are at an increased risk for HIV
If your HIV screening is covered by Medicare, you pay nothing for the test if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment. A doctor or health care provider who accepts assignment agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services.
Medicare Advantage plans also cover at least one HIV screening per year based on the above qualifications. Some plans may provide additional HIV-related care services, but they may or may not be available in your area.
Don’t Miss: Can You Drink On Hiv Meds
Hiv Drugs Cost $75 In Africa $39000 In The Us Does It Matter
In the United States, pharmaceutical companies have built a system which supports high costs for H.I.V. drugs. But that may be starting to change.
Ms. Rosenberg is a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, which supports rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.
First of two articles
A new gold-standard triple therapy for H.I.V. has just made its debut in Africa. It costs $75 a year. In the United States, many people with H.I.V. take an almost identical therapy. It costs $39,000 a year.
The United States is infamous for its high cost of health care and H.I.V. medicines are a big part of that. Plenty of drugs carry outrageous prices: EpiPens, insulin, cancer treatments, even some antibiotics. But no class of medicines is more scandalously expensive than for H.I.V. These medicines are in Medicaids drug budget, the third largest for the insurance exchanges and the fifth largest for commercial insurers.
What do we get from spending so much? Not enough. H.I.V. therapy aims to suppress the virus to the point where it is undetectable in a patients blood. Patients with suppressed H.I.V. are healthy and noncontagious. Just under half of all people living with H.I.V. in the United States have achieved that. Thats not only way below countries like Britain and France its worse than Zimbabwe, Kenya and Malawi.
Mylan also makes three-drug combos, Symfi and lower-dose Symfi Lo. At 40 percent less, the two Symfi combinations cost $19,200.
No one has.