A new report out today says that the HIV prevention treatment, PrEP would be “cost-effective” and could save the NHS money in the long run.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases published a report today that states PrEP would be cost-effective. It also says that when used properly, PrEP could prevent one in four new infections of HIV.
Many opponents of PrEP have claimed that the medication, which is offered to high-risk groups, including gay and bisexual men, at risk of contracting HIV, is too expensive for the NHS to fully embrace.
Doctor Michael Brady, Medical Director at Terrence Higgins Trust has welcomed the report saying,
“One of the key arguments against PrEP has been that it will cost the NHS too much money. This study firmly puts that claim to bed by demonstrating that, when appropriately targeted at those at risk of HIV, it is not only highly cost-effective but, as the price of HIV drugs falls, will actually save the NHS money in the long run. Each HIV infection we prevent saves the NHS £360,000 of a lifetime of treatment and care.
“The study also highlights the importance of cheaper, generic versions of PrEP, which are currently being used in NHS England’s PrEP Impact trial and have been commissioned for PrEP use in Scotland.
“This cost-effectiveness data underlines the importance of PrEP in the fight against HIV. It is not only highly clinically effective it is also cost-effective. The NHS England Impact trial, which will provide access to PrEP for 10,000 people over the next 3 years, is a welcome step in the right direction. However, it is important that all who need PrEP can access it and evidence like this reinforces the need for PrEP to be fully commissioned and given a long-term, sustainable home on the NHS in England.”