UK: NHS England reconsiders PrEP drugs after legal threats

The NHS will reconsider a decision to abandon the roll-out of HIV-preventing PrEP drugs to gay men in the UK–after a legal threat. The drug has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and is already routinely available to at-risk men in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, France and Israel.

In the UK, a recently concluded two-year study found the drug was greatly effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission – but in a surprise U-turn last month, NHS England kicked the issue into the long grass today by ordering a further two-year study instead of a roll-out.

The decision had infuriated HIV groups, who have warned that it puts people at risk of HIV transmission and puts the UK well behind other countries. However, after the National AIDS Trust launched legal action over the decision, it today received a response from NHS England confirming that “NHS England will carefully consider its position on commissioning PrEP in light of [NAT’s] representations”.  The body will now meet in May to decide whether to put PrEP back into the decision-making process – just months after opting to stop it. Read more via PinkNews