The Australian Greens will today commit to funding the HIV prevention drug Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk groups to reduce the risk of HIV transmissions.
“We have the chance to end HIV transmission in Australia. But until people at high risk get reliable access to affordable PrEP, we will continue to see avoidable HIV transmissions,” Australian Greens Leader Senator Di Natale said.
Media release continues below video.
“Without Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing, many potential users of PrEP will not be able to afford to take the medication. We have strongly advocated for the introduction of PrEP into Australia and we will continue to fight for this critical medication to be funded,” Senator Di Natale said.
“We simply cannot leave Australians unnecessarily at risk, so we are committing $8.7 million to fund supply of PrEP to high-risk Australians not currently in clinical trials and we will commit an additional $25.7 million as a safety net for high-risk users to continue the drug after clinical trials finish,” Senator Di Natale said.
“This drug will provide people with protection and peace of mind, and has achieved positive results overseas. The Australian Greens will secure their access to this medication and we will do so by committing a total of $34.4 million to provide continued access for high-risk groups irrespective of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme approval,” Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.
“Access to PrEP is a key issue that has been raised with The Greens by advocates in the area of gay men’s health and experts in HIV prevention. I am excited to join Senator Di Natale today to announce this commitment. We are hopeful that the PBS will list this drug, however if they fail to do so the Greens are making a commitment today that we will make PrEP accessible and affordable,” Senator Simms said.
In November Senator Simms successfully moved a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to remove regulatory barriers to access to PrEP, rapid HIV tests and home self-tests. Following approval of PrEP by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Greens called for the drug to be listed on the PBS.