PrEP and PEP Will Be Available Without Prescription in California

By Group October 08, 2019

When Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed Senate Bill 159 into law yesterday, the state became the first in the U.S. that will allow (beginning in 2020) for the dispensing of PrEP and PEP without a prescription from a doctor.


This is HUGE, putting PrEP and PEP closer to the status of the plan B pill. What does Senate Bill 159 mean? Once implemented, patients will not have the burden of setting up and attending a doctor’s appointment — a process that can take weeks — in order to gain access to HIV prevention drugs.


The government of California hopes this new law will result in a decline of new HIV transmissions, as PrEP adherence has been shown to dramatically decrease the likelihood of contracting HIV through a partner or intravenous drug use.


Two other major healthcare related bills were signed into law on Monday. AB 824 will attempt to prohibit a practice known as “pay for delay.”


“California will use our market power and our moral power to take on big drug companies and prevent them from keeping affordable generic drugs out of the hands of people who need them,” Governor Newsom said. “Competition in the pharmaceutical industry helps lower prices for Californians who rely on lifesaving treatments.”


Another law signed into the books yesterday is Senate Bill 464, which requires perinatal healthcare workers to complete implicit bias training. The law is meant to reduce maternal mortality rates among black women —  a proven phenomenon in modern medicine.


“We know that black women have been dying at alarming rates during and after giving birth. The disproportionate effect of the maternal mortality rate on this community is a public health crisis and a major health equity issue,” Governor Newsom said.


Importantly, the new law will also require additional data collection on pregnancy-related deaths, by the California Department of Public Health.


All of these laws are in response to what WaxOh has called #UnfairCare and why #WeNeedAButton.