KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 – California governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will allow HIV prevention drugs to be available without a prescription starting next year.
The medications are pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which both help prevent HIV infections.
“To end new HIV infections, we must dramatically expand access to PrEP and PEP, yet far too many Californians who need these drugs struggle to access them,” California state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who authored the bill, said according to CNN.
Currently, the state allows pharmacists to provide up to a 60-day supply of PrEP, after which a patient would need to consult a physician to continue its use.
The law will also prohibit insurance companies from requiring prior authorisation to cover the drugs’ cost.
“The HIV epidemic is still a pressing issue today — especially for LGBTQ people of color and folks in rural communities,” nonprofit organization Equality California’s executive director Rick Zbur said.