pep prep pharm 061022CHICAGO – To make it easier for people to access HIV preventative care, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) championed a recently signed law to allow pharmacists to provide HIV tests and preventative medications to help reduce new HIV infections.

Simmons’ law will allow pharmacists to dispense and administer drugs, order laboratory tests, and consult individuals on HIV pre-exposure drugs and post-exposure drugs. Pharmacists will first have to complete an educational training course on the administration of tests and medications prior to being permitted to assist patients. 

“This law will effectively cut down on wait times and provide life-saving care to thousands of Illinoisans,” Simmons said. “Doing so will especially help reduce new HIV infections among cisgender Black women, LGBTQ+ people, Latinos, and those who lack health insurance.”

Under the previous law, pharmacists in Illinois were not permitted to consult or assess individuals on HIV infections. Pharmacists were also not permitted to administer or dispense preventative medications without a prescription from a health care provider.

“Far too many people in Illinois lack regular access to a doctor,” Simmons said. “Increasing access to these medications through community-based pharmacies will save lives.”

It is believed this law will help reduce new HIV cases by up to 90% by 2030, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Biomedical solutions PrEP and PEP medications are up to 99% effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

House Bill 4430 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect immediately.