The NHS in England has said it will now reconsider its position on PrEP prescription for gay men and other high risk groups after a legal threat from leading AIDs charity, the National AIDS Trust (NAT).
Just a month after saying that the prescribing of PrEP (an HIV prevention drug, proven to be effective in stopping HIV transmission in almost every case if taken properly) wasn’t within its decision making process, NHS England have announced a u-turn, after a legal threat from the UK’s leading AIDS charity NAT.
NHS England had said it was to pull the plug on the commissioning process centrally passing it on to individual local authorities to make the decision as to whether to make PrEP available. That decision was made after 18 months of hard work that demonstrated the need, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of PrEP
The NHS has said it will now reconsider its position.
NHS England will now meet in May to decide whether to put PrEP back into the decision-making process from which it had previously been removed. If it goes back into the process there will be a Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) meeting in June to decide on what NHS England will commission in 2016/2017, and PrEP will be considered alongside other proposals.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, NAT, said,
“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 combatting 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.”