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Free Distribution of HIV Prevention Drug Begins Dec. 2: Gilead

Nov. 27, 2019, 8:18 PM

The Trump administration is set to begin nationwide distribution of free HIV prevention medication to uninsured patients on Dec. 2 to coincide with World AIDS Day.

Gilead Sciences Inc. donated enough of its drug Truvada to cover 200,000 people for a maximum of 11 years to aid in President Donald Trump’s pledge to end the spread of HIV. A Gilead spokesperson said the distribution, which will be done through the Department of Health and Human Services, was set to start Dec. 2.

The HHS is piloting the distribution program with select health centers in preparation for the anticipated nationwide rollout in December, Mia Heck, spokeswoman for Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, said in a statement.

Only two drugs, Truvada and Descovy, have been approved in the U.S. for HIV prevention, also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. Both drugs are made by Gilead Sciences Inc. Truvada costs about $20,000 per patient per year, and often receives criticism for its high cost.

The administration is aiming to get 50% of people at risk for HIV on PrEP therapy by 2025.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shira Stein in Washington at sstein@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com