UnitedHealthcare changes coverage for Gilead's new HIV prevention drug

UnitedHealthcare is changing which medication for HIV prevention it considers a covered option for members.

Beginning Sept. 1, Gilead's older drug Truvada will be the covered option for preexposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Generic Truvada will become the covered option for members when it launches in September. 

The decision could be a blow to Gilead, which recently released a newer drug called Descovy to prevent HIV. The FDA approved Descovy in October 2019, but studies have questioned whether the drug is overpriced.

In an emailed statement to Becker's, a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson said coverage of Descovy will continue for commercial members if it's prescribed as a part of their HIV regimen, and coverage may be available when there is a medical exception.

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