A “GAME-CHANGING” HIV drug will be available to NHS patients in England following a successful legal challenge, it was announced yesterday.
NHS England had fought a bitter court battle, arguing that it was not responsible for the funding of the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug (Prep), saying councils should pay as they are responsible for preventing illnesses.
But it has now announced plans for about 10,000 people to receive the drug, called Truvada, in a three-year clinical trial starting next year.
National Aids Trust head Deborah Gold said: “We are absolutely delighted that following our wins in court, NHS England, working with Public Health England and local government, will be now making Prep available on a large scale, and quickly, to those who need it.”
Terrence Higgins Trust medical director Dr Michael Brady warned that there are still answers needed to questions about the trial “in terms of how exactly the trial will work in practice, how those at risk will be able to access Prep, no matter where they live, and what will happen after the trial.”
NHS England has also agreed to fund 10 new specialised treatments.
But it said that three proposed treatments were not worth the money — including second stem cell transplants for patients whose disease has got worse.
NHS chiefs in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are yet to make a decision on Prep.