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Greens propose work-around to provide HIV prevention drug



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Media Release 20 August 2016

Greens propose work-around to provide HIV prevention drug

The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to support personal importation of an HIV 'wonder drug' that has just been denied listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, to protect those who are most at risk.

"We simply cannot leave Australians at unnecessary risk, when this drug gives us the chance to end HIV transmission in Australia," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale, a former public health specialist who has worked on HIV prevention in India.

"This drug is an effective HIV prevention tool and the government should be doing all it can to make sure it as accessible and affordable as possible."

The Greens have been calling for the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug to be listed on the PBS since was approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. During the election campaign the Greens announced a policy to guarantee access for high-risk patients, regardless.

“It costs an individual about $1,200 each year to import this medication, which simply isn’t possible for many Australians who are at risk of HIV transmission,” said Senator Di Natale

“An investment of $34 million over four years would see the Commonwealth government able to work with the states, territories and community organisations to supply this drug to high-risk Australians who aren’t in clinical trials, and provide a safety net for those whose clinical trials will soon end.

“Without Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing, many potential users of PrEP will not be able to afford to take the medication. We have strongly advocated for the introduction of PrEP into Australia and we will continue to fight for this critical medication to be funded,” Senator Di Natale said.

Click here for the detail of the Greens’ Ending HIV in Australia policy.

Media contact: Jennifer Faerber 0438 376 082