Bipartisan legislation to allow HIV prevention medication to be dispensed by pharmacists without a prescription heads to Governor Parson after enjoying unanimous support in the House and Senate. The bill, originally sponsored by state Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R-105) and Sen. Greg Razer (D-7), was included in House Bill 476, an omnibus professional registration package that was truly agreed to and finally passed Thursday morning.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications, if taken within 72 hours of potential exposure, can prevent patients from becoming HIV positive. If signed by the Governor, Missouri would become the second state in the nation after California to allow these medications to be dispensed without a prescription. Pharmacists would operate under an established protocol formed with a licensed physician to distribute the drugs to patients in need, similar to how vaccines are administered in pharmacies across the state.
“While we have not yet found the cure to HIV, medical innovations like PEP can help end this epidemic in our lifetime,” said Christofanelli. “I am proud to see Missouri lead on this important public health issue.”
“This common-sense legislation will positively impact people’s lives, improve public health, and save taxpayer money,” said Razer.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson, who can sign the legislation into law.