The government of the United States has introduced a new health program to offer HIV prevention drugs free of cost to 200000 uninsured people. The new health initiative has been launched to eliminate HIV by 2030. Americans who are at higher risk of catching the disease and do not have insurance to pay for the medication will be highly benefitted by the new program. HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis drugs reduce the chances of healthy people being infected with HIV through unprotected sex or injection drug. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said that this medicine can cost up to $2000 for people who do not have insurance. As per the records, only 18 percent of 1.2 million Americans have been able to avail prescription PrEp medications.
Gilead Sciences will join forces with HHS’s new initiative to give free PrEP drugs to 200000 uninsured Americans for 10 years. Azar has said that the government has all the means to stop the epidemic of HIV but it needs proper execution. People need to have a genuine prescription and a negative HIV test to avail the benefits of the new program. People will have to produce evidence to prove that they do not have any insurance coverage to afford prescription drugs. Uninsured Americans can apply for this program online. Once approved by the authorities, people will be given a card to be filled by their pharmacy for issuing a prescription at no cost.
Uninsured people are not the only obstacle in the elimination of the disease; co-payments are also a matter of concern predominantly for people with high deductible plans. There is also a lack of doctors who can educate the public about PrEp. The use of HIV prevention drugs has increased since 2006 but only 9 percent of people have received a prescription for PrEp. Although the usage of the drug has raised but the progress is not rapid enough as per the health professionals. Almost 38000 people are diagnosed with HIV each year in the US. The US government has pledged to reduce it by 75 percent in the next five years and by 90 percent in 10 years. The insurance rate among HIV infected people has reached much lower than the national average.