PrEP is approved in Scotland

by Noah Mcgee April 12, 2017, 3:24
PrEP is approved in Scotland

The drug was turned down by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) back in October 2014, while, in England, though it is available through the Cancer Drug's Fund the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's stance continues to be that it is too costly for routine NHS use in England and Wales. People who accessed PrEP through the PROUD trial are rapidly running out of their supply, and it feels inevitable that some of these people will become HIV positive if the trial is not speedily implemented. The rate is rising fastest among men who have sex with men, and this was the group tested in United Kingdom trials, and in whom the evidence is strongest.

It followed a series of legal battles in England over whether the NHS or local authorities should pay for the medication.

This was largely because of the drug costs - which would be up to £20m a year to treat everyone who could benefit.

In 2015, a study in the Lancet found that PrEP was 86% effective in preventing new cases of HIV among high-risk adults.

A year ago charity the National AIDS Trust won a court case against NHS England's tactics.

However, in December, NHS England changed its stance and announced a major extension of the national HIV prevention programme via a largescale PrEP trial, to "pave the way" for its full roll-out.

NHS England has persisted in looking for ways to mitigate the cost of the treatment.

"PrEP provides opportunities to reinvigorate how people at higher risk of HIV exposure engage with testing and prevention opportunities, and it is a vital opportunity to make a real reduction in the number of new HIV transmissions".

He said: "Scotland has made history in the fight against the HIV epidemic".

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People at risk of infection in Scotland will be able to access pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through the health service, but the rest of the United Kingdom is being forced to wait.

SCOTLAND has become the first place in the United Kingdom to approve a "game-changing" anti-HIV drug.

The HIV preventative treatment pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been approved for use within the NHS in Scotland.

"Preventing the spread of HIV is good news for everyone", he said.

We applaud the Scottish Medicines Consortium for acting on the overwhelming evidence for the clinical effectiveness of PrEP, and taking this vital step to tackling HIV in Scotland.

And campaigners have welcomed the introduction of the drug.

Director of the charity, Mary Allison, said: "This decision will transform treatment options for women with HER2 positive secondary breast cancer in Scotland".

The drug can give patients dying from an aggressive form of breast cancer extra months of life, with more than 13,000 women signing a petition calling for it to be made routinely available.

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