NHS in England can legally fund Prep – the High Court has said – a drug that can prevent HIV campaigners call “game changing”
The High Court has told the NHS in England it can fund a drug that can prevent HIV – after health bosses argued it was not their responsibility.
NHS England previously said councils should provide the pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) drug as they are in charge of preventative health.
This stance was successfully challenged by the National Aids Trust (NAT).
But the High Court ruling does not make funding of Prep automatic and the NHS is set to appeal.
The ruling by Mr Justice Green said health bosses had “erred” in arguing it was not their responsibility.
‘Reduce HIV risk’
NHS England has already announced it will appeal the ruling – and even if that goes against health bosses it is not a given that Prep will be considered effective enough to warrant NHS funding.
To determine that, NHS England has announced it will carry out a review of the evidence on Prep while it awaits a Court of Appeal hearing.
HIV drug row: A very modern dilemma for the NHS
Using Prep has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by 86%.
The once-a-day pill, which costs £400 a month per person, works by disabling the virus to stop it multiplying.
It is currently used in the US, Canada, Australia and France to help protect the most at-risk gay men.