In Missouri, over 12,000 people live with HIV, and over 500 new HIV infections are diagnosed each year. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications are highly effective methods of blocking HIV infection in individuals who are at high risk of exposure, or who have been recently exposed.
Currently in Missouri, clinicians may prescribe and dispense PrEP and PEP as long as the individual seeking the medication meets eligibility criteria set by the provider, such as injection drug use or sexual contact with an HIV-positive partner. In addition, Washington University in St. Louis currently collaborates with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to operate pharmacy-based PrEP care, the only program of its type in the state.
SB 79 would authorize licensed pharmacists to independently dispense a thirty-day supply of PrEP and a complete course of PEP. In order to dispense these medications, pharmacists must first complete a training program. Dispensation of these medications is also subject to several restrictions: those seeking PrEP must test negative for HIV, receive counseling related to the treatment, and notify their health care provider of prophylaxis treatment.
Similar laws are currently in effect in Colorado, Oregon, and California.