This New-to-Market Drug Could Be Better Than Truvada

Gilead submitted Descovy, a daily PrEP alternative to Truvada, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Disgusted by Big Pharma greed? Furious at the fact that Gilead charges $2,000 a month for Truvada if insurance doesn’t cover it? Good news! A new daily PrEP alternative might be hitting the market soon, and — oh wait, it’s also made by Gilead and it will also probably cost $2,000 a month out of pocket.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., announced with a press release on Friday that it had submitted a new drug application to the United States Food and Drug Administration. (Disclosure: Gilead is an advertiser for Pride Media brands including Out’s website and print magazine. The company did not ask us to report on this release.) The review is expected to take about six months.

The drug, Descovy, is already approved for use as an antiretroviral for people living with HIV in combination with a bunch of other medications, but a study apparently shows that it also works to prevent HIV infection as a pre-exposure prophylaxis. The study found that once-daily Descovy offers the same level of safety and efficacy as Truvada when it comes to HIV prevention. It also found that study participants taking Descovy had better renal and bone health than those who were taking Truvada.

“[T]he results from the DISCOVER trial suggest that Descovy may offer those same benefits for HIV prevention, which are important considerations for the potential long-term use of PrEP,” said John McHutchison of Gilead Sciences in the press release, published by the Associated Press. “We look forward to working with the FDA to help evaluate bringing this option to people at risk of acquiring HIV infection.”

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