NHS England Loses Appeal Over HIV Preventative Drug PrEP

By Gary Cutlack on at

The NHS has lost its appeal over the provision of controversial anti-HIV infection drug PrEP, with a court ruling that the decision made in August should stand.

The complicated issue resolved by the Court of Appeal today was not deciding on the use of the drug itself, but the problem of who should pay for it. The drug's use as a preventative treatment means it was initially thought that responsibility for paying for its prescribing should fall with local councils, but as anyone who now only gets their bins emptied in a leap year will tell you, local councils aren't exactly flooded with cash these days -- so they wanted the NHS to be handed the bill instead.

And that's what will happen from now on, as the court says there's no legal reason why NHS England should not issue the drug. An NHS spokesperson said: "...we will discuss with local authorities how NHS-funded Prep medication could be administered by the sexual health teams they commission ... we will immediately ask the drug manufacturer to reconsider its currently proposed excessively high pricing, and will also explore options for using generics." [BBC]

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