California Passes Bill That Will Make HIV Prevention Drugs Available Without Prescription
California has made major moves in the right direction since Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized all pharmacists to offer HIV prevention drugs without a prescription. The new law will begin next year and means individuals who are at risk of contracting HIV will be able to acquire pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and those who may have already been exposed can get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
The new bill, Senate Bill 159, was challenged by some physicians who argued that individuals may take the pill too often without proper medical attention. An amendment was then proposed that only allows individuals to use the drugs for 60 days. After the time frame, they must go to a doctor to get consultation for further use. The new bill also means citizens can purchase the medicine without authorization from their insurance companies.
"Recent breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of HIV can save lives," Gov. Newsom said after signing the new bill. "All Californians deserve access to PrEP and PEP, two treatments that have transformed our fight against HIV and AIDS. I applaud the Legislature for taking action to expand access to these treatments and getting us closer to ending HIV and AIDS for good."