New initiative makes preventative PrEP medications more accessible and affordable to uninsured populations
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health today joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support the fight against HIV, which coincides with the launch of a new HHS initiative called Ready, Set, PrEP, a critical component of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in America Initiative. With CVS Health as one of the first participating pharmacies donating medication dispensing services to HHS, the Ready, Set, PrEP program will provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication at no cost to eligible individuals. In addition, Ready, Set, PrEP has launched a robust communication campaign aimed at educating individuals about PrEP and making them aware of this key program. HIV-negative individuals who are at-risk for contracting the virus but do not have prescription drug coverage may qualify for the Ready, Set, PrEP program, and if approved, can fill the medication at CVS Pharmacy and CVS Pharmacy Specialty Services locations or by mail with a valid prescription. Ready, Set, PrEP aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the U.S. by 90 percent over the next ten years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV and there are approximately 38,000 new HIV cases annually. In addition, HHS estimates that more than 1 million people in the U.S. could benefit from taking PrEP medications that are highly effective in reducing an individual’s risk of acquiring HIV, but only a small fraction are currently prescribed. With 76% of the U.S. living within five miles of a CVS Pharmacy, this partnership greatly increases local access to the life-saving benefits of the medication.
“As a part of our enterprise commitment to help people on their path to better health, CVS Health is dedicated to improving the lives of those at-risk and those living with HIV and other chronic conditions,” said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, CVS Pharmacy. “As a community health partner at the local level, a critical part of the role we play is leveraging our national network of neighborhood retail locations to do all we can to support proactive health and wellness in the communities we serve. Increasing access to PrEP medications for the under-insured is something we are honored to partner with HHS to help make a reality.”
While a multitude of social, economic and demographic factors impact HIV transmission rates throughout the U.S., data often shows low-income individuals, minorities (specifically African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos) and LGBTQ+ populations are among the most vulnerable to HIV. This initiative, in addition to programs like Project Health that bring free health screenings to neighborhoods around the country, is the latest example of CVS Health’s efforts to provide access to affordable health care services to underserved communities at the local level, building on the company’s commitment to non-discrimination, quality health care and respect for the dignity of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, race, sex, gender expression, socioeconomic status, disability or any other factor.
In addition to partnering on the Ready, Set, PrEP initiative, CVS Health also has an ongoing partnership with the CDC to help Act Against AIDS, by providing mobile HIV screening and testing services at CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the country. The CVS Specialty HIV Care Management program also helps HIV-positive patients receive comprehensive and continuous whole-patient management and support from nurses specially trained in HIV care. CVS Specialty HIV advocates also help support those living with the virus, and each year, sponsor various PRIDE celebrations and provide information at the events about CVS Health HIV testing and treatment services.
To qualify for Ready, Set, PrEP, individuals must test negative for HIV, have a valid PrEP prescription from a health care provider, and not have prescription drug coverage. From there, individuals can fill the medication at any pharmacy of choice, including CVS Pharmacy and CVS Pharmacy Specialty Services locations or by mail. To apply online, visit GetYourPrep.com or call toll-free 855-447-8410. Once approved and with a valid prescription, locate your nearest CVS Pharmacy, visit CVS.com/store-locator.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.