You may remember how, not too long ago, the NHS made the frustrating decision to scrap plans to make the HIV prevention drop PrEP available. Now it seems the NHS in England will be reconsidering their position following a legal threat.
Naturally, the NHS’ decision infuriated HIV groups, who warned that it put people in unnecessary risk of HIV transmission and also put the UK far behind other countries.
The National AIDS Trust launched legal action over their decision, and it seems that this has made the NHS reconsider their decision to do another two years of study rather than a rollout.
The NHS issued a response to the legal action, saying: “NHS England will carefully consider its position on commissioning PrEP in light of [NAT’s] representations.”
They will now be meeting next in May to decide whether or not to put PrEP back in the decision making process.
Chief Executive of NAT, Deborah Gold, had this to say: “We welcome this change of mind from NHS England. NHS England had previously told us that it was impossible for them to reconsider their decision. Faced with legal action, they have now changed their mind. We trust that NHS England, when it re-evaluates its position, will come back with a resounding yes.”
“PrEP is one of the most exciting prevention options to emerge since the HIV epidemic began and offers the prospect of real success in combating this virus. To deny the proper process to decide whether to commission PrEP, when 17 people are being diagnosed with HIV every day, is not only morally wrong but legally wrong also.”
Previously to these events, the NHS said: “NHS England is keen to build on the excellent work to date and will be making available up to £2m over the next two years to run a number of early implementer test sites. These will be undertaken in conjunction with Public Health England and will seek to answer the remaining questions around how PrEP could be commissioned in the most cost effective and integrated way to reduce HIV and sexually transmitted infections in those at highest risk.”
“These test sites will aim to provide protection to an additional 500 men at high risk of HIV infection as well as inform future arrangements for the commissioning and provision of this innovative intervention.”