Advocates, NDP urge N.S. gov’t to cover PREP drug
man hopes the Liberal government seriously considers a call by the NDP to provide universal coverage of PREP, a medication that can prevent the transmission of HIV.
On Wednesday, the NDP caucus called on the province to “do better” when it comes to HIV prevention. Their appeal comes the day before a scheduled flag-raising ceremony at Province House to mark HIV/AIDS awareness week in Nova Scotia and World AIDS Day.
“PREP is a combination of medications used to prevent the transmission of HIV. When taken daily, it is highly effective at preventing new WWW.THESTAR.COM
cases of this virus,” Tammy Martin, NDP spokesperson for health and wellness, told reporters at Province House.
The Liberal government added PREP to the provincial pharmacare formulary on July 23.
The medication is sold under the brand name Truvada, among others, and is a combination of two antiretroviral medications: emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.
Martin said that since the province added PREP to its pharmacare formulary, only nine people have qualified for access.
Advocates say this isn’t good enough, especially for a province that has seen “an alarmingly high” number of new cases of HIV/AIDS over this past year.
If as many as 500 Nova Scotians applied for access, the $1.5 million annual investment would equal the lifetime cost for just one person infected with HIV.