I

t’s been lauded as an essential public health tool and maligned as “a party drug.” And now it’s on its way to going generic.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Teva’s bid to market the first generic form of the daily HIV prevention pill sold as Truvada by Gilead. When it becomes available, it will be closely watched for whether it can meaningfully drive down prices and widen access — which may fuel the debate over the role the medication should play in combating HIV.

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