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California OKs pharmacists to dispense HIV prevention meds

Governor Newsom has signed legislation that will allow patients to buy HIV prevention pills from pharmacists without a prescription.

Posted: Oct 8, 2019 8:44 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's governor has signed legislation that will allow patients to buy HIV prevention pills from pharmacists without a prescription.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a law authorizing pharmacists to provide both pre-exposure and post-exposure drugs directly to patients.

Supporters of the legislation say California is the first state to make both available without a prescription, and the action will greatly reduce barriers to PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, and PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis.

Supporters say PEP significantly reduces the risk of infection if taken within 72 hours of exposure, but patients may not always be able to see a doctor in that time frame.

The law was co-authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, who has publicly disclosed that he takes PrEP as an HIV prevention strategy.

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