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Smith co-sponsoring bill to expand HIV prevention medicine

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Wednesday that will expand access to lifesaving HIV prevention medications.

The “PrEP Access and Coverage Act of 2021” addresses the underutilization of HIV prevention drugs - known as PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis) - in high risk communities by ensuring these medications and any associated costs are covered by health insurance. The measure also establishes community public health campaigns, and it expands access to the drugs for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.

The PrEP Access and Coverage Act of 2021 is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

“Every person deserves access to affordable, high quality health care,” said Sen. Smith. “Too many people in Minnesota and across this country are unduly burdened by the high costs of HIV drugs, and many others are going without this lifesaving preventative medication. This bill takes an important step towards ensuring that these highly effective medications are accessible and affordable for every patient who needs them.”

“The high cost of prescription drugs is an urgent problem impacting Americans across the country,” said Klobuchar. “With this legislation we are taking action by making crucial HIV prevention drugs more affordable. As a longtime advocate for lowering health care costs, I’ll keep working to help people access the medications they need.”

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