Missouri General Assembly Approves Proposal to Increase Access to HIV Prevention Medication
JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation allowing HIV-prevention medication to be dispensed by pharmacists without a prescription heads to the governor after enjoying broad bipartisan support in the Missouri General Assembly. The bill, originally sponsored by Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, and Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, was included in House Bill 476, a professional registration omnibus bill that was truly agreed to and finally passed on May 6.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications, if taken within 72 hours of potential exposure, can prevent patients from becoming HIV positive. Under HB 476, pharmacists would operate under an established protocol formed with a licensed physician to distribute the PEP medications to patients in need, similar to how vaccines are administered in pharmacies across the state. If the bill is signed into law, Missouri would become the second state in the nation after California to allow these medications to be dispensed without a prescription.
“This commonsense legislation will positively impact people’s lives, improve public health and save taxpayer money,” Sen. Razer said. “I am very excited to get this life-saving legislation across the finish line.”
“While we have not yet found the cure to HIV, medical innovations like PEP can help end this epidemic in our lifetime,” Rep. Christofanelli said. “I am proud to see Missouri lead on this important public health issue.”
House Bill 476 now moves to the governor’s desk, where it can be sign into law. For more information, please contact Senator Razer’s office at 573-751-6607.