Expanding Pharmacists’ Role in PrEP Administration Could Be the Key to Meeting National HIV Prevention Goals
In the fight against HIV, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) has been a game-changer, but its full potential remains untapped. Despite a 56% annual increase in PrEP uptake since its FDA approval in 2012, only one in four eligible individuals actually use it. The healthcare system is now looking to pharmacists as a vital link to expand PrEP access and close this gap, especially in marginalized communities.
HCN Medical Memo
The expansion of pharmacists’ role in PrEP administration is not just a policy change; it’s an opportunity to revolutionize HIV prevention. Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to provide non-stigmatizing, accessible care, especially in communities where healthcare access is limited. By integrating pharmacists into the PrEP delivery system, we can make strides toward the national goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.
- Only 25% of eligible individuals take PrEP, with even lower rates in marginalized communities.
- The National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States (2022–2025) advocates for expanded pharmacists’ prescribing authority for PrEP.
- Seventeen (17) states have already granted pharmacists some degree of authority to provide PrEP, serving as a model for nationwide adoption.
According to a 2021 CDC survey, nearly 90% of HIV-negative men who have sex with men were aware of PrEP, but only 42% used it.
- Among eligible Blacks and Latinos, only 9% and 16% respectively have been prescribed PrEP.
- Young people (ages 16-24) are the least likely to take PrEP, with only 16% having a prescription.
- States like California and Colorado have progressive laws that not only allow pharmacists to prescribe PrEP but also ensure they are reimbursed for these services.
- Community pharmacies can offer same-day PrEP, potentially increasing retention rates.
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