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Pressure from HIV advocates and the Greens brings HIV prevention a step closer

Media Release
Janet Rice 9 Nov 2016

Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice has welcomed the Health Minister’s comments that the government is progressing the cause to get HIV prevention medication listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) so it’s accessible to everyone who needs it.

“The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s decision to licence HIV drug Truvada in May was an important step in the fight to end HIV transmission in Australia, but the high price tag remains a barrier to people who need it,” said Senator Rice.

“In September the Greens wrote to the Health Minister expressing disappointment at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s (PBAC) rejection of Truvada as use for PrEP, and urged the Australian Government to take steps to ensure affordable access as soon as possible.

“The Health Minister’s recent remarks that the government is working with Gilead to progress a future submission of Truvada for PrEP to the PBAC is a sign that pressure applied by HIV advocates and the Greens has been effective.

“We are also encouraged that Labor has joined our calls for the government to intervene so that this drug can be made accessible and affordable to Australians in high risk groups.

“Every year 1200 Australians contract HIV and PrEP could substantially reduce this number, so it is inexcusable that this drug is out of reach for Australians who need it,” concluded Senator Rice.

Media Contact: Steph Hodgins-May 0400 352 935

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