PrEP Now Included In WHO Essential Medicines List

Reported at, PrEP has now included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) essential medicines list.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their list of medicines deemed ‘essential’ as part of a well-functioning health system. That is, the drugs that every person should have access to, should they need it, no matter where they are.

Notable was the inclusion of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), taken as either tenofovir monotherapy, or in combination with emtricitabine or lamivudine, to prevent HIV infection. The addition supports current WHO guidelines for HIV prevention, treatment and care released at the end of 2015, which recommend PrEP for HIV-negative people who are at-risk of HIV infection. These include populations who are unable to negotiate condom use, those in a relationship with someone living with HIV, and people who do not use condoms.

Recognition by this world body stands tall in acknowledging the important role PrEP plays in breaking the transmission of HIV world wide.

Also notable is the inclusion of HIV treatment dolutegravir, a potent agent with a strong barrier to the HIV developing resistance.

Here in Australia I hope this news may help bolster the application for PrEP to be included as a government funded medication.

Currently PrEP users not part of one of the Australian trials must import generic PrEP from overseas. Simplifying access and reduced cost for PrEP will be a great step towards reducing HIV infections Australia wide.

Dr George