GREEN Cross Pharmacy has worked with Australian PrEP activist Rodney Ellis to relaunch its direct service and substantially reduce the cost of PrEP accessed online.
Based overseas, the pharmacy supplies medication to patients in Australia and several other countries.
“I’m really pleased to be working again with Rodney Ellis to get PrEP into the hands of Australians,” said Noel Offer from Green Cross Pharmacy.
“I’ve never been interested in making money out of this, and the reputation of my business and the community service we provide is my driving force. My customers, and especially my PrEP customers, have always come first.”
Offer and Ellis were dismayed at a recent jump in prices and wanted to work together to build a solution that makes PrEP accessible to as many people as possible, at the lowest price possible. They have removed middleman Dynamix International to reduce costs to customers.
“There have been increased prices for a while and I became alarmed when people were saying they could no longer afford PrEP,” said Ellis.
“The bright side is that Green Cross Pharmacy are back and the prices are back down. I’ll continue working with Noel and Green Cross Pharmacy to see what other overheads we can reduce. Each dollar off the price puts it in another band of customers’ reach.”
Green Cross Pharmacy will continue to offer free PrEP coupons to people on low incomes. Every ten sales generates one free donated coupon.
“The coupon scheme is entirely self funded, not reliant on a government hand-out or the political will of the government of the day,” said Ellis.
“Ultimately this is the gay community providing for its own through the facilities of Green Cross Pharmacy. It will scale up automatically as more people buy PrEP.”
While some states of Australia are currently running trials that allow people to access PrEP free of charge, Ellis said other options are still necessary for people who can’t access these or may not be able to in the future.
“We’ve managed to get about a 30 per cent reduction in price while including those who would normally not be able to afford PrEP,” he said.
“Where there are trials it’s an important community back-up plan in case they are ever taken away.”