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Missouri House backs easing access to HIV prevention drugs

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill that would make it easier to obtain drugs to prevent HIV infection won easy approval in the Missouri House.

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, would allow people to go to pharmacies to obtain pre- and post-exposure drugs to prevent HIV infection, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

It was supported by 148 lawmakers from both parties on Monday, with seven Republicans voting “present.” The measure now goes to the Senate.

Christofanelli said he believes people should be able to access the drugs wherever it is most convenient because they can save lives.

The bill would require pharmacists to distribute the drugs with the supervision of a licensed physician and follow strict protocols. Patients would have to follow up with a physician and receive a prescription to get more than a 30-day supply of the pre-exposure medication.

Christofanelli said he hoped big pharmacy chains would adopt the plan if it is approved by the Missouri Senate.

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