A bill that seeks to increase access to
PrEP has cleared its first hurdle in California.
The Senate Business and Professions
Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the legislation. The bill
now heads to the Senate Health Committee.
Introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, a
Democrat from San Francisco, and Assemblymember Todd Gloria, a
Democrat from San Diego, the bill seeks to reduce barriers to
accessing the once-daily pill.
Senate Bill 159 authorizes pharmacists
to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure
prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a physician prescription. It
also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain
prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain
PrEP and PEP.
When taken as prescribed, PrEP lowers
the chances of people at high risk for HIV from contracting the
disease. In 2012, the FDA approved Truvada for PrEP use.
In 2014, Senator Wiener, who is openly
gay, disclosed that he takes Truvada to reduce the risk of
Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener says he's taking Truvada to reduce
risk of HIV.)