Sara White, Doctor of Pharmacy, Masters in Public Health and is the resident expert on drug pricing, generics and healthcare accessibility.
This article goes in to HIV 1 treatment medications; BIKTARVY and TAFFIC. How you can benefit from the treatment to suppress your HIV 1 viral load safely and save money on generics.
- 1 What is BIKTARVY® and TAFFIC®?
- 2 What is the difference between BIKTARVY and TAFFIC?
- 3 What is the cost of BIKTARVY and TAFFIC?
- 4 Why the big price difference between the two?
- 5 How is this HIV 1 treatment taken?
- 6 How does TAFFIC or BIKTARVY work?
- 7 What are some of the safety concerns while taking TAFFIC or BIKTARVY?
- 8 What you should not take with BIKTARVY or TAFFIC?
- 9 What are the serious side effects of TAFFIC or BIKTARVY ?
What is BIKTARVY® and TAFFIC®?
According to a recent Oxford study, the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in BIKTARVY and TAFFIC have consistently shown to suppress viral replication in HIV 1.
BIKTARVY ® (50mg 200mg 25mg) is an effective once a day pill for the treatment of HIV 1.
TAFFIC ® is the authorized generic of BIKTARVY® licensed by Gilead Sciences for people with HIV 1 living outside the US.
What is the difference between BIKTARVY and TAFFIC?
BIKTARVY is made with bictegravir 50 mg, emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir alafenamide 25mg.
Because TAFFIC is the licensed generic of BIKTARVY, it has identical ingredients of bictegravir 50 mg, emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir alafenamide 25mg.
TAFFIC is made by HETERO DRUGS in India, under the supervision and authorization of Gilead Sciences and FDA.
So, no there is no chemical or molecular difference between TAFFIC and BIKTARVY.
Yes, there is a difference between BIKTARVY and TRAFFIC its the price.
What is the cost of BIKTARVY and TAFFIC?
BIKTARVY costs $3,390 for 30 tablets in the US.
While TAFFIC costs $150 a month for 30 tablets in India.
We can say BIKTARVY price in India is $150, but we will just change the name to TAFFIC.
Why the big price difference between the two?
The reason for this huge price difference is licensing.
While BIKTARVY brand name is marketed for the US only.
While TAFFIC is marketed globally and priced for countries outside of the US.
For example: the price of a bottle of Coca Cola or Pepsi is $1.20 most places in the US.
In India, a bottle of a Coca Cola or Pepsi is $0.18.
Yes, soda pop is a lot cheaper in India.
We understand, TAFFIC and BIKTARVY can’t be 100% compared to soda pop, but the pricing strategies by corporate executives should raise eyebrows.
The following statement explains this pricing strategy quite well.
“Pricing is based on the customer’s ability to pay.” – Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences
Same exact product manufactured and marketed in two different countries but vastly different prices.
How is this HIV 1 treatment taken?
Like BIKTARVY, TAFFIC is a once a day pill with (bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide) that works well in some HIV 1 adults and children that weigh 55 pounds.
* BIKTARVY and TAFFIC do not cure HIV 1, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
One of the good things about TAFFIC is that it can be taken any time you want, with or without food.
Works with your busy life and schedule.
BIKTARVY or TAFFIC can be a replacement for your current HIV 1 medications.
Please remember (this is important) you can only take one HIV 1 treatment.
You cannot be on more than one HIV 1 treatment, this can be very dangerous to your health.
How does TAFFIC or BIKTARVY work?
From the start, TAFFIC fights the HIV 1 virus right away, the same way BIKTARVY does.
There are three powerful medicines in BIKTARVY (50 mg-200 mg-25 mg) or TAFFIC (50 mg-200 mg-25 mg) that attack HIV 1.
- Bictegravir 50 mg
- Emtricitabine 200 mg
- Tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg
The mechanism of the medicine is laser focused on killing the virus.
This reduces HIV in your bloodstream to an undetectable status, which is 50 copies per ml.
The FDA states if you consistently take TAFFIC 8 to 24 weeks, your HIV load will be undetectable.
That is the best part about TAFFIC regularly.
What are some of the safety concerns while taking TAFFIC or BIKTARVY?
Serious side effects of TAFFIC or BIKTARVY :
Hepatitis B or HBV infection can get worse.
If you have both HIV 1 and HBV co-infection and you stop taking BIKTARVY or TAFFIC, your HBV may get worse.
So, its best to speak to your health care team to make sure that you are monitoring your health while you stop taking BIKTARVY or TAFFIC.
What you should not take with BIKTARVY or TAFFIC?
It is very important that you should not take any other HIV 1 treatments with BIKTARVY. If you are, stop and consult with your physician immediately.
- Rifampin, rifabutin ad rifapentine
- Any other HIV 1 treatments
- Any supplements with St. John’s wort
- rifabutin, rifampicin and rifapentine (used to treat some bacterial infections such as tuberculosis)
- Anti seizure medication that contains carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital and phenytoin
- Any immunosuppressant that contains ciclosporin
- Any treatment for stomach ulcers or gastric reflux disease that contains sucralfate
What are the serious side effects of TAFFIC or BIKTARVY ?
Generally your immune system should get stronger to fight off infections.
1. Lactic acid build up is an issue and the symptoms include:
- Tired more than usual
- Fast breathing
- Fast or abnormal heartbeat
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
2. Kidney failure possibility
Blood and urine work to check how well your kidneys are functioning and healthy.
3. Liver problems that can become serious, watch out for some of these symptoms:
- Yellow eyes (whites of the eyes)
- Tea colored urine
- Stomach area pain
- Loss of appetite for a week or so
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Medical disclaimer: Do not rely on SoulofHealing.org and SunnyPharma.info as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. Please consult with your physician for any and all medical treatment and medical care.