Current Missouri law requires preventative HIV medication to be prescribed by a doctor. Newly-elected Kansas City State Senator Greg Razer plans to pre-file a bill that would allow pharmacists to give an emergency dose over the counter to those exposed to the virus. Razer calls the bill the last piece to end the AIDS epidemic.

State Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, speaks on the Missouri House floor on March 28, 2019 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

“As soon as you are infected, that 72-hour clock begins to tick,” says Razer. “There is a pill that can be taken that will kill the virus within those 72 hours, if you can get your hands on it. The problem is, you think you’ve been infected, how long is it going to take before you can see a doctor who will prescribe this?”

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system.

Razer, a Democrat, says giving Missouri pharmacists the option would “put Missouri on the forefront of ending our last great pandemic.”

“As we’re in the midst of one right now, we’re still trying to end the one that started in 1981. This is how we do it. I don’t think we ever find a cure to kill the virus but what we can do is suppress it out of existence.”

Razer, who is openly gay, says the change could go a long way.

“This is so important for individuals because it really could change health outcomes,” he says. “It’s important to the state of Missouri. A monthly HIV medication is $10,000-$15,000 per month. If we can lower the number of people on Medicaid on HIV medication, that’s a big savings.”

Those who are at higher risk of getting HIV include gay and bisexual men, transgender women who have sex with men, injection drug users, African Americans and Hispanics. Many of these individuals are also less likely to have access to health care.

Representative Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, plans to prefile the House version of the bill.

Razer served in the Missouri House from 2017-2020. He and Rep. Christofanelli served together for those four years.

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