PrEP has been listed on the PBS and this is a fantastic step forward, however there are a range of considerations that need to be made. For example, if you are on one of the access clinical trials what happens now? If you are using ‘self importation’ should you change over to local purchase?
If you are on one of the access clinical trials, the trial will contact you in time to inform you of what the next steps are. Don’t worry though, you will always have access to PrEP one way or another. The important thing to remember is to NOT stop taking it.
PrEP Access Now [hyperlinked to www.pan.org.au] has information that can help answer the questions you may have if you are currently taking PrEP either through the trial or through importation.
In order to be listed on the PBS, PrEP has to go through a number of government approval processes. Though it’s received the first approval it needs, it’s not yet clear if or when PrEP will be available on the PBS. Gilead, the company that makes Truvada for PrEP, is in the middle of getting the final approvals, and hopes to have a better idea of the timeframe in mid-2017.
You may have heard that in August 2016 the government rejected Gilead’s application to have PrEP put on the PBS. This does not mean PrEP is not effective. It also does not mean that PrEP will never be listed on the PBS. PBAC, the government body in charge of looking at applications for this sort of thing, said they know that PrEP is effective and that it will help prevent new cases of HIV in Australia. The application was rejected due to some inaccurate information that it contained, and also because Gilead was asking the government to pay too much money. Gilead has said they are going to submit another application in the near future, and that they will work with the government to find a fair price for PrEP.