The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Wales has welcomed proposals from the Welsh government to increase access to PrEP via community pharmacies for people at risk of HIV.
The new HIV Action Plan for Wales consultation proposes a shared care model between primary care and specialist sexual health services to improve access to PrEP.
Commenting on the proposal, chair of RPS in Wales Cheryl Way said: “Increasing access to the medicines has been a long-standing issue of concern for us at RPS and we’re therefore delighted to see the proposals outlined by the Welsh government to develop a model which will enable PrEP to be provided by community pharmacies across Wales.
“PrEP are highly effective medicines, that reduce the chances of getting HIV, as proven by the Welsh Government’s three year PrEPARED study which found no new diagnoses of HIV among over 1,200 people taking PrEP in Wales. This is clear evidence that PrEP should be made as easily accessible as possible to those who need it.
“Community pharmacists and their teams are trusted and accessible health professionals. They will undoubtedly be a great additional asset in extending reach beyond the sexual health clinics already in place that are supplying PrEP. This will especially be the case for many in rural areas and groups who traditionally avoid such clinics.
On World Aids Day last year, RPS called for PrEP to be more widely available through community pharmacies for those who need it.
Cheryl added: “We encourage the Westminster Government to act so that access to this highly effective medicine is extended further to those who would benefit from it.”