Wednesday, August 10

NHS can legally fund game changing HIV drug as Court decides



A High Court judge has ruled the NHS can legally supply a game changing drug that prevents HIV.

National Aids Trust (NAT) brought a challenge against NHS England that was being heard by Mr Justice Green in London.

The case relates to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a highly effective anti-retroviral drug used to stop HIV from becoming established in the event of transmission.

When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of infection in people who are at high risk by more than 90 per cent.

A dispute arose earlier this year when NHS England said it would not routinely fund the drug because it was a preventative service and was therefore not its responsibility.

It said local councils were in charge of funding preventative health services.

After initially re-evaluating the decision when NAT launched a legal challenge, NHS England doubled down in May after taking legal advice.

It said if it prioritised the drug there was the risk of a legal challenge from proponents of other treatments and interventions that could be displaced by PrEP.

The NAT challenged the new decision, arguing NHS England did have the legal power to commission the drug.