Early in the year, the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention and pharmaceutical company Gilead announced a partnership that would provide 2.4 million bottles of Truvada — the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug — to 200,000 uninsured individuals. However, details on how to get that free medication were not provided.
That’s now about change as the government has recently launched Ready, Set PrEP, a nationwide program aiming to distribute the drug used for PrEP. The launch, organized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), included the launch of the website GetYourPrEP.com as well as the introduction of the toll-free number 1-855-447-8410 for those interested in applying.
Applicants should meet three qualifications to get their free PrEP. First, they must not have insurance coverage for prescription drugs. Second, they must test negative for HIV. Finally, they should have a PrEP prescription.
In a press release announcing the launch, the government called Ready, Set, PrEP “a key component of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative.” The initiative “aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 75 percent in five years and by 90 percent in 10 years.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar called the program “a historic expansion of access to HIV prevention medication.” Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir, M.D. said the program would “increase access to this effective and preventive drug for people at risk.”
Aside from this news, the new year will also bring with it the market launch of generic Truvada. Teva Pharmaceutical, an Israel-based manufacturer of generic drugs, will release a generic version of the HIV prevention medication on September 30, 2020. This was the result of a settlement agreement reached between Gilead and Teva Pharmaceutical back in 2014.