Co-pay Savings for HIV Medication Part 2: Complera

Rilpivirine molecule (3D)

Image via Wikipedia

Complera is the latest one pill once-a-day treatment for HIV.  I blogged about it recently in some detail.  Complera has three medications, rilpivirine, a new NNRTI, tenofovir and emtricitabine.  These last two medications are also contained in Truvada.

Complera also has a great co-pay savings program.  As I stated in my last blog,  a copay savings program will save you a lot of money if you have private insurance with high monthly co-pays,  and I highly recommend using these programs.

The Complera program will pay up to $2400 per year.  This is money that the manufacturer pays to the pharmacy, reducing your co-pays.  If you receive a 1-30 day supply, it covers up to $200 per refill for twelve refills per year.  If you receive a 31-60 day supply, it covers up to $400 per refill.  If you receive a 61-90 day supply, it covers up to $600 per refill.

You must enroll in the program to get these benefits.  To enroll, you need a Complera co-pay assistance card, but I learned today you can also enroll over the phone even if you do not have this card.  They will give you an ID number to use at the pharmacy.  Use the card or number at the pharmacy before picking up your Complera.

The phone number to get enrolled is 1-877-505-6986.

You are not eligible for this program if you are in a federally funded insurance program, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or VA.  This program is also limited to people in the United States and Puerto Rico, except for Massachusetts.

Tomorrow I will write about another co-pay savings program for HIV medication.


About William Larson, Pharm.D.

Pharmacist, married, living in Minneapolis, the City of Lakes. Interests include fitness, gardening, travel (cruising), yoga, cooking, piano, and social media.

Posted on September 14, 2011, in Treatment, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thank you William. I followed your instruction and got approved for the card. They’ll send the card to me. In the mean time, I can use the info they gave me on the phone right away at the drug store.


  2. Great Post. I use a website called to save on the meds that I take.


  3. Bill, I’m curious to know approximately how much it costs GIlead to produce Complera. How much does it actually cost them to manufacture a single pill? I would love to know why it costs $100 per dose. I am in a Medicare Part D prescription plan and not eligible for the manufacturer rebate and have to pay a co-pay based on the Rx cost.


    • Charlie, that is information that Gilead will never reveal. Pricing of drugs in the U.S. has more to do with good old capitalism than the actual cost of making medications. In other words, they give it a price that the market will bear. Gilead and every other drug maker will tell you they price their medications fairly based on their high cost of research and drug development and limited patent protection, and to a degree, this is true. In addition, almost no one pays the actual retail price of a drug, because each insurer has a contractual prices for each drug which includes rebates to the insurer. Please don’t blame the pharmacist for this, either. Pharmacists charge the price that the claims processor says they must charge based on your insurance plan. It’s all a muddled mess, and I feel your pain with the Part D plan. There will be some relief in sight with the introduction of generic Sustiva, but it will be not be as convenient as one pill once a day Complera.


  4. I’ve been on Complera for just over a year and my complaint, maybe it’s better directed at my pharm., is a 30 supply is $6031.00 and I promise you my Part D Medicare barely scratches the surface of that amount.


    • That seems really high, even for Complera. Is it a covered medication under your Part D plan? I hope you are able to find some help, because that is a huge copayment. You might want to check with your doctor’s office to see if there is someone who can help you with insurance, usually a social worker or case manager. In the meantime, I feel your pain.


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