NU.nl: Price of HIV prevention drug PrEP drops over 80 per cent

The price of PrEP, the pill that can prevent new HIV infections, will decrease significantly.

Plusapotheken, pharmacies that distribute the prevention pill, have made a deal with pharmacist Sandoz. They will offer a generic version of PrEP, made possible by the fact that the patent pharmacist Gilead had of the pill has expired this summer.

The generic version and that of Gilead contain the same components and are thus equally effective. The new price however is significantly lower: 99,50 euros a month, instead of 550 euros. The new price will take effect on October 30th.

“This deal is great news for the fight against HIV in the Netherlands, because PrEP now becomes much more accessible”, says Louise van Deth, managing director of the AIDS Fund – STI AIDS Netherlands.

“At the same time we still think this price is too high and there is no reimbursement from the government. In this regard, Netherlands stays behind countries such as Belgium, France, the United States and Canada, where PrEP is covered and the number of HIV infections is decreasing rapidly.”

Risk

In the Netherlands, PrEP is currently only distributed to men who have sex with men and transgenders as part of a study. These groups run the highest risk of an HIV infection.

The prevention pill reduces the risk of HIV with 85 per cent. You don’t have to take the drug every day, only on days preceding and following sexual contact. One of the side effects of the medicine is kidney failure, but this doesn’t occur often.

In the Netherlands, around 22,000 to 23,000 people have an HIV infection. Some of these people don’t yet know that they have HIV.

Source: NU.nl (Dutch only)

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