This article was published on February 27th, 2016
Canadians are rejoicing over the pending approval by Health Canada after word has come that the federal drug governing body will be officially approving the use of the antiretroviral drug, Truavada, for the use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The drug manufacturer, Gilead Sciences submitted their application to Health Canada in the summer of 2015.
While the official announcement isn’t expected from Health Canada until Monday, a new section on their website, dated February 26 now reads, “For use in combination with safer sex practices for Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 in adults at high risk”
The much anticipated news is exciting for Canadians, who have been long awaiting this decision. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, including the development of national guidelines, funding through public health care programs, adjustments by insurance companies, education and roll-out through doctors and health care providers, and more.
Truvada as PrEP has been available in both Montreal and Toronto through pilot projects, and some doctors have been prescribing Truvada as PrEP off-label. The pending approval will make it easier for all Canadians to gain access both faster and easier once regulations, guidelines, and other details are in place.
More information, including statements from Health Canada and Gilead Sciences are expected in the coming days.