PHARMAC widening access for Truvada

Publix denies preventative HIV drug coverage to its employees

Most large companies' insurance does cover the drug. We offer generous health coverage to our eligible full-time and part-time associates at an affordable premium and are committed to the health and well-being of our associates and their families.

The news sparked an outrage, and now the supermarket chain has announced it will reverse its decision and will now expand to cover PrEP in its employee health care plan "as quickly as possible", said a representative for Publix in a series of tweets to Logo. Blogger Josh Robbins first reported in November 2016 that Publix was denying its employees access to PrEP, and the reasoning behind it is still unclear. "No one doesn't know someone who works at Publix, so for them to react quickly, change policy, change their benefits and prescription coverage was awesome", Shay said.

"Together with safe sex practice, early diagnosis, and access to treatment, we expect that PrEP will significantly reduce HIV transmission rates in New Zealand", Sarah Fitt, the chief executive of New Zealand's public pharmaceutical management agency Pharmac, told Stuff.

Publix operates 1,169 stores and employs 188,000 people in the southeastern U.S.

The Body also mentioned that Publix is a conservative company that has made donations to anti-gay Republican political candidates, funded campaigns against legalized cannabis and has "scored a zero on the Human Rights Campaign's analysis of workplace fairness" in addition to being "accused of multiple instances of anti-LGBT discrimination". While most US insurance plans at least partially cover PrEP, it can be prohibitively expensive for Americans without health coverage (or those with extremely high drug co-pays on their insurance plans). Publix has locations predominantly in the South, where HIV disproportionately affects the population, making this decision all the more impactful and necessary. "We hope this decision by Publix will inspire other large employers to think seriously about ensuring that their health plans address all employees' needs".

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