Publix to cover HIV prevention drug after backlash

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Publix appreciates the concerns shared by our associates and customers. While most USA insurance plans at least partially cover PrEP, it can be prohibitively expensive for Americans without health coverage (or those with extremely high drug co-pays on their insurance plans). "We hope this decision by Publix will inspire other large employers to think seriously about ensuring that their health plans address all employees' needs".

Publix tweeted, "We are working with our pharmacy benefits manager to implement this change as quickly as possible".

- Publix (@Publix) February 6, 2018...possible.

'Providing affordable access to PrEP for those who need it will make an enormous difference to those most at risk of HIV transmission in New Zealand, ' said New Zealand AIDS Foundation's (NZAF) executive director Dr Jason Myers. "We have long said that until PrEP is fully accessible, it will not be fully effective".

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According to Smith, the decision not to cover the HIV prevention drug came directly from the chain and not the medical insurance companies that cover employees.

Though it was not disclosed whether the Publix employee identified as LGBTQ, some outlets speculated that the company was discriminating against gay and bisexual men, who remain disproportionately susceptible to HIV infection, by refusing to cover PrEP. Blogger Josh Robbins first reported in November 2016 that Publix was denying its employees access to PrEP, and the reasoning behind it is still unclear. Taking this drug daily has shown to offer more than 90% (and as much as 99%) effective protection against HIV in clinical trials, and certain New Zealand residents will soon be able to get a three-month supply for just $5 (oh, and that's five New Zealand dollars, which is about $3.64 in USA money). "For them to not know that they operate in a region that carries the bulk of the epidemic at this point, that most of the new cases in the United States occur where their grocery stores are, and for them not to provide that protection for their staff is irresponsible, at the very least".

"Publix is one of the largest employers in our community".

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