Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs, and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield, has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to ensure that the potential availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not hindered by Truvada’s injunction action to prevent generic sale of the drug. Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a preemptive drug taken by persons to prevent the contraction of HIV.
Senator Warfield said
“PrEP is currently going through the necessary HSE approval processes to assess its feasibility, acceptability, and uptake. I fear that the reports today of Truvada planning injunctive action over alleged plans to sell a cheaper generic version of the drug in Ireland means that the potential cost of PrEP may remain relatively high to its users and may affect its availability.
“There is a worry that while PrEP may be certified as an approved drug by the HSE, it may not be able to fund the drug’s availability given the underfunded current budgetary envelope from the Department of Health. It is noteworthy the cost of HIV treatment can be around €20,000 per patient per year and the price of preventative healthcare in this case has potential to be a substantial cost saving measure.
“I am calling on Minister Harris to work with the relevant parties to ensure that PrEP be made available and adequately funded pending HSE approval and to act on the numerous approved drugs awaiting funding from the Department of Health.”