Cross-posted from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health Mart today announced that more than 3,300 Health Mart independent pharmacies agreed to donate their dispensing services to support Ready, Set, PrEP, the HHS program that provides free PrEP medication to uninsured individuals. As part of that donation, Health Mart pharmacies will provide patient counseling and take steps to promote medication adherence as well as provide free PrEP medications in store at no cost for those eligible.
"Ensuring all people in both urban and rural communities have access to HIV prevention and care services is critical to Ending the HIV Epidemic," said Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir, M.D. "Health Mart independent pharmacies will play an important role in further expanding patient access to free PrEP medications in these traditionally underserved areas." The announcement was made today at Grubb's Pharmacy in Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood.
The program is a key component of the initiative, Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE): A Plan for America. EHE aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 75% in five years and by 90% in 10 years. By increasing awareness of PrEP and its access, the Ready, Set, PrEP program can provide thousands of people a safe, effective way to prevent HIV and bring the U.S. one step closer to ending the HIV epidemic.
"We are proud to do our part in ending the HIV epidemic," said Health Mart President Nimesh Jhaveri. "Health Mart independent pharmacists understand the important role they play in patient care. Participating in this initiative and donating their time and resources showcase their commitment to improving the health of their communities."
Although more than one million people at risk for HIV in the United States could benefit from PrEP medications, only a small fraction get them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend PrEP for individuals at risk of acquiring HIV. When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.
For More Information
Beginning no later than March 30, 2020, qualified patients can obtain the PrEP medications at the more than 24,500 participating pharmacy locations throughout 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands or through mail order—all at no cost to patients. These donating pharmacies represent about a third of all the pharmacies in the United States.
Eligibility requirements are available at GetYourPrEP.com or by calling 855-447-8410. To learn more about PrEP's role in ending the HIV epidemic, visit Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. For an explanation of how the program works and more information about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, and research, visit HIV.gov. To learn more about Ready, Set, PrEP, please visit GetYourPrEP.com and HIV.gov.
About Health Mart
Health Mart is the nation's fastest-growing independent pharmacy franchise with more than 5,000 locally owned community pharmacies across all 50 states. Health Mart pharmacists provide personalized care and take the time to help patients understand their prescription-drug coverage, how to safely manage multiple medications, and how to take advantage of lower-cost medication options. Patients can find a locally-owned Health Mart pharmacy by visiting healthmart.com.
As an important member of the healthcare team, Health Mart pharmacists possess strong clinical knowledge and collaborate with patients and other healthcare providers to help patients manage and improve their health. The Health Mart franchise is owned by Health Mart Systems, Inc., which is part of McKesson Corporation. Pharmacists and pharmacy owners interested in learning more can explore join.healthmart.com.