The HIV prevention drug (Truvada) PrEP , which is 99% effective at preventing HIV infection, is soon to be listed on Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The price will be drastically reduced with the gov subsidy provided through the PBS from around $10,000 a year to about $500 a year. Less for those on a pension or benefits I guess. It will make the drug accessible to many Australians for the first time.
Truvada can currently 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.
The likely decision has been welcomed by advocates. Nic Holas, the co-founder of the The Institute of Many (TIM), a peer-run group for HIV positive people, said in a statement: “For too long, people living with HIV have born the brunt of expectation, responsibility, and blame when it comes to keeping the community safe from HIV. PrEP offers HIV negative people the opportunity to take more responsibility for their own safety”.
“PrEP is a necessary and urgent tool, and one of a new array of options in the fight to end HIV,” Holas said. “We have long said that until PrEP is fully accessible, it will not be fully effective. We have already seen in some jurisdictions how PrEP, in combination with other prevention methods, testing strategies, and meaningful community engagement, has helped to reduce instances of HIV transmission. Now, we hope to see the same effect across the country, and beyond just the community of gay and bisexual men affected by HIV.” Junkee
|Media release from Positive Life|