Bill would allow Colorado pharmacists to dispense HIV prevention meds without prescription

Lawmakers in Colorado are proposing to allow pharmacists in the state to dispense HIV prevention medications without a provider prescription. Backers say doing so would help decrease infection rates because people could more easily access pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) HIV drugs.

Lawmakers in Colorado are proposing to allow pharmacists in the state to dispense HIV prevention medications without a provider prescription. Backers say doing so would help decrease infection rates because people could more easily access pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) HIV drugs. Advocacy group One Colorado is lobbying in support of House Bill 20-1061 to allow pharmacists to dispense PrEP and PEP, noting that time is a major factor for someone who has been exposed to HIV. If the legislation is ultimately signed by Gov. Jared Polis, consumers would likely be able to go to pharmacies for PrEP and PEP within a year. Scales Pharmacy owner Dan Scales is supportive of the bill. He says, "The hope is enough pharmacies will participate in the training programs to really understand how to do this well." A curriculum for training Colorado pharmacists has not yet been developed. Scales would help in the effort along with the Colorado Pharmacists Society. He says ideally patients would be monitored through a pharmacy full-time. To dispense the HIV prevention medications without prescriptions, pharmacists must first determine if a patient is HIV negative. Blood draws are needed on a regular basis to ensure kidney health with PrEP treatment.