Cuomo tells health insurers to cover HIV prevention drug

Local News

ROCHESTER, NY – (WROC) – Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to make sure health insurers are covering an HIV prevention drug.

Cuomo is instructing health insurers to cover Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV.

“PrEP has been approved by the FDA since 2012,” said Ashley Zuppelli, director of innovation at Trillium Health. “So seven years and we know that across the country only 7% of the people who would need it.”

People would be able to get the drug without cost-sharing — including deductibles and co-pays, which have been a major financial barrier for many consumers.

“Truvada, is the only FDA approved medication for HIV prevention right now,” said Zuppelli. ” Truvada is really expensive monthly. Over a thousand dollars.”

For high-risk groups like the LGBTQ+ community having access to the medication helps them to stay healthy.

“The governor has really set a model for other states to model after to make certain their LGBTQ members can live authentically and can live freely and be who they are,” said Jeff Myers, executive director of the Out Alliance.

New York leads the nation in the number of new HIV cases. In 2017 there were more than 2,000 new cases of the virus.

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