Bill would improve access to life-saving preventative care.
DENVER, CO — Representatives Alex Valdez and Leslie Herod’s bill to improve access to HIV Infection Prevention Medications today was passed by the House of Representatives. The bill would allow pharmacists to dispense both PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) without a prescription from a physician.
“We’re one step closer to making accessible preventative care for LGBTQ people and other at-risk groups a reality in Colorado,” said LGBTQ Equality Caucus Chair Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver. “We will save lives.”
“HIV hits our most vulnerable populations the hardest, and that’s who we’re fighting for today,” said Black Legislative Caucus Chair Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “This bill will save lives and move our communities forward. I’m proud to help bring much-needed relief and preventative care to the fight against the scourge of HIV.”
If enacted, HB20-1061 would allow Coloradans to go directly to a pharmacy to receive either an initial treatment regimen of PrEP or a full treatment regimen of PEP after a brief consultation with a pharmacist. The legislation also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain authorization prior to using their benefits to obtain the medications and also prohibits insurers from requiring that a patient undergo step therapy. More than 14,000 people were reported to be living with HIV in the state of Colorado, according to a 2018 report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.