Governor Signs Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria’s Groundbreaking Legislation to Expand Access to PrEP, a Once-Daily Pill to Prevent HIV

October 7, 2019

San Francisco – Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement in response to Governor Newsom signing SB 159, which reduces barriers to accessing HIV preventative medications. Specifically, SB 159 authorizes pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a physician prescription. PrEP is a once-daily pill for HIV-negative people that reduces risk of infection by up to 99%, and PEP is a 28-day preventative course for people who may have been exposed to HIV. (Pharmacists are already authorized to furnish emergency contraceptives and the birth control pill without a prescription.) Regarding PrEP, pharmacists will be able to provide a 60-day supply, after which the patient will need to see a physician to continue. The legislation also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP.

Senator Wiener’s statement:

“To end new HIV infections, we must dramatically expand access to PrEP and PEP, yet far too many Californians who need these drugs struggle to access them. SB 159 will keep more Californians HIV-negative and help us end this epidemic. I applaud Governor Newsom for signing this first-in-the-nation legislation to remove barriers to these critical HIV-preventatives.”

SB 159 is supported by a broad coalition and sponsored by Equality California, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, APLA Health, Los Angeles LGBT Center, California Pharmacists Assocation, and California Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Read more about SB 159 here.