Access to HIV Medications Greatly Increased in California after Gavin Newsom Passed the Bill

As per the latest news, people in California now can have HIV medications without a prescription from their doctors. They can now directly buy it from the pharmacists without any consultation. Gov. Gavin Newsom passed the law on Monday.

Regulation of PrEP and PEP Medicines in California without Prescription

According to advocates of Senate Bill 159, California is the first state to regularize HIV medicines without a prescription.

Regulation of such medicines will help in controlling and preventing the infection. As per the advocates, California is among those states that are leading in the prevention of deadly diseases like AIDS.

People who show a negative HIV test take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pills. On the other hand, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) pills are taken by those who want to prevent the spreading of the HIV virus.

As per the supporters and hiv.gov, PEP pills can successfully reduce the risk of infection if taken within 72 hours after getting in contact with the human immunodeficiency virus.

Taking medication after 72 hours of exposure to the virus increases the risk of developing an infection. HIV medications cannot work after this time frame. For the pills to work completely, one needs to complete the course of the medicines which is 28 days.

Rick Zbur, chief executive officer of Equality California, explains how it is nearly impossible for anyone to reach and contact a doctor within 72 hours of exposure to the virus.

He says it is almost convenient for everyone to reach the nearest possible pharmacy and take the medications. Thus, this is a huge barrier that could only be removed by this law.

He further says that the law enforced will help people to know more about the preventive measures of HIV. This will help to reduce the fear among minorities and people in rural areas of using HIV drugs.

Opposition by the California Medical Association

As per the data issued by the California Health Benefits Review Program, around 30,000 and 6,000 people are living in California, who are currently using PrEP and PEP pills respectively.

The California Health Benefits Review Program was the one who provided the survey to the legislature. Anthony York is a representative at the California Medical Association. He says that at first, the California Medical Association stood against the bill but later accepted it. However, it was only after the court made an amendment to the bill.

As per the new amendment, a person can only buy a limited number of PrEP pills in 60 days without the consultation of a doctor. The California Medical Association was mainly concerned about the long term use of HIV medications without the doctor’s consultation.

READ ALSO – Researchers Link Semen-exposure to Increased Resistance against HIV Infections

The newly passed law was a joint bill with state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco surprised the public when he talked about himself taking PrEP pills as a preventive measure against HIV.

He explained that before this bill was passed, many of the needy Californians had faced difficulty buying PrEP pills. So, to put an end to the spread of HIV infection, almost everyone in California should have access to it.

The court has already allowed people in California to have access to birth control items and contraceptive pills without any consultation with a doctor.

Newsom has not only passed a bill to make HIV medications widely accessible but has also asked pharmacists to lower the cost of medications.

The new law has also put an end to the useless anti-competitive agreements. In these agreements, some brands make in order to delay the medications on the market.

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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