NZ ahead of the pack in funding revolutionary HIV-prevention drug PrEP
- Author: Santos West Feb 08, 2018,
Feb 08, 2018, 7:26
Publix has announced via Twitter that they are in the process of reversing course on PrEP: "Publix appreciates the concerns shared by our associates and customers".
HRC's senior vice president for programs Mary Beth Maxwell is encouraged by Publix change of mind about Truvada, "It is a positive step forward that an employer as large as Publix will now offer PrEP to its employees as part of their health care coverage". After a public outcry on the Publix PrEP refusal, the company stated that it is working to expand its health plan's coverage for PrEP "as quickly as possible".
Truvada can now cost up to $10,000 a year but a PBS listing is expected to bring the price to below $500 a year, meaning thousands of at-risk individuals, including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and sex workers, will have greater access to the drug. "We have long said that until PrEP is fully accessible, it will not be fully effective". Last week the company confirmed they denied coverage after meeting with Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
Publix Supermarkets has come under recent scrutiny for their failure to include HIV preventative drugs in their employee's health plans.
"Providing affordable access to PrEP for those who need it will make an enormous difference to those most at risk of HIV transmission in New Zealand".
Three of the seven states that Publix operates in - North Carolina, Georgia, and its home state of Florida - are ranked in the top-10 states with the highest number of HIV diagnoses in 2016, according to the CDC.
"We are really excited to hear about Publix's decision to offer PrEP to its employees, said Holland". "I was really shocked to learn about this because I know I have tons of friends who work for Publix and, believe it or not, I hear really great things about Publix as a corporation", Arromand said.
The groundbreaking HIV prevention drug, PrEP, looks set to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), drastically slashing its price and increasing its accessibility for tens of thousands of potential users.