NASTAD Applauds USPSTF Recommendation for PrEP; Action Required to Fully Implement

By Kyle Taylor June 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2019

CONTACT: Kyle Taylor
Associate Director, Communications, NASTAD
ktaylor@NASTAD.org | 202-897-0029

NASTAD Applauds USPSTF Recommendation for PrEP; Action Required to Fully Implement  

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) finalized its recommendation for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), giving PrEP a grade A. The recommendation – the highest grade that a service can receive – comes after a years-long review of clinical evidence and an extensive public comment period. The recommendation advises that clinicians offer PrEP (the medication as well as necessary lab and clinic visits) to all individuals indicated for PrEP based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions require most private insurance plans and Medicaid expansion programs to cover all USPSTF A and B rated services with no cost sharing.

“The USPSTF recommendation affirms what the evidence has shown about PrEP for years: PrEP is a highly effective HIV prevention tool that should be significantly scaled up in this country” noted NASTAD Acting Executive Director Terrance Moore.  “Because high cost sharing has been a barrier to PrEP, the recommendation’s mandate that most private insurance plans cover PrEP without deductibles or copays means that far more individuals will have affordable access to PrEP through commercial insurance. Given the disparities in PrEP access, particularly among young, gay Black and Latino men and transgender women, we are hopeful that this recommendation will spur additional action and commitment to increasing access to PrEP for these populations.”

Full implementation of the coverage and cost sharing provisions is not required for most plans until January 2021. In the meantime, public and private payers will need guidance from federal and state regulators to ensure implementation is in compliance with the recommendation and CDC clinical guidelines. The requirement that PrEP be covered without cost sharing will also take enormous pressure off of Gilead Science’s Advancing Access Co-pay Assistance Program, opening up new opportunities for partnership and support from Gilead in line with the Administration’s plan to end new HIV infections by 2030.

“We will not end the HIV epidemic without significant increases in the number of people vulnerable to the infection using PrEP. Today’s announcement by the USPSTF is an important step in the right direction, and we must continue to address stigma and other systemic barriers that have fueled the relatively low number of individuals currently accessing PrEP in this country,” Moore concluded.

The final recommendation can be read here.

About NASTAD

Founded in 1992, NASTAD is a leading non-partisan non-profit association that represents public health officials who administer HIV and hepatitis programs in the U.S. and around the world. Our singular mission is to end the intersecting epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, and related conditions. We do this work by strengthening domestic and global governmental public health through advocacy, capacity building, and social justice.

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