Today, PrEP4ALL with HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute submitted a letter of over 60 signatures of leading HIV organizations calling on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) to request the CDC to reverse its decision to prohibit the use of CDC prevention funds to pay for the additional costs of PrEP, including provider visits, labs for screening and monitoring.
Today, the federal government issued guidance to insurers to remind them of their obligation to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which are drugs that prevent HIV, at no cost to their beneficiaries. The guidance, in the form of an FAQ, also clarifies that associated services with PrEP, such as provider visits and HIV, hepatitis, and STD testing along with other laboratory tests, must also be covered with no patient cost-sharing. This follows previous guidance for the coverage of other preventive services that have associated services and costs, such as colonoscopies.
House Supports Significant Funding Increases for Domestic HIV Programs: Minimal Increase for Hepatitis Programs
The US House of Representatives is proposing to significantly increase funding to continue to ramp up efforts to end HIV in the United States. In addition to an increase of $245 million for domestic HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, which matches the amount proposed in President Joe Biden’s budget, the Appropriations Committee in its FY22 Labor, HHS appropriations bill is proposing an $146 million increase to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, (+$100 million over Biden’s budget) and $190 million more for NIH AIDS Research that was not included in the president’s budget. The House is only including an increase of $5 million for CDC’s hepatitis division for a total of $44.5 million.
Washington DC… In President Biden’s first preliminary budget that was released today, he is proposing to continue to ramp up efforts to end HIV in the United States with an increase of $267 million for domestic HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative.
“We are deeply disappointed that CMS passed on addressing the issue of copay assistance for prescription drugs and requiring insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to count assistance towards patient out-of-pocket cost-sharing and deductibles,” commented Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute.