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Making HIV Prevention Drugs Available With No Prescription Needed

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Monday which makes HIV-prevention drugs available with no prescription required. Thanks to this bill, pharmacists can now dispense both PrEP, or preexposure prophylaxis, and PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis.

The measure follows a 2015 California law that made it possible for women to walk into a pharmacy and get a prescription for birth control.
PrEP can reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PEP, meanwhile, is for emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV, the CDC says.

The bill also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to get prior authorization before they can use their benefits of obtaining the medications.

What are your thoughts on this one?

(Image Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

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PrEP use requires occasional testing to make sure kidney function is not being affected, so I'm unsure about providing it OTC. Regarding insurance, Truvada (PrEP) is impossible for most people to afford without insurance. What we need is medication cost reform, but that's for another post, I guess.
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As a cost saving measure, it would be far cheaper to pay for these drugs than the costs of HIV infections. If you want to keep insurance premiums down, disease prevention is the best way to do it.
Same goes for birth control. Babies are expensive!
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No prescription? You bet! That means markedly fewer cases of HIV. Insurance paying for it? No. Having sexual contact is a choice, and therefore the cost should be born by the individual. However, the no scrip availability should make it much cheaper.
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