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Final PrEP HIV drug case win for National AIDS Trust at Court of Appeal

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Final PrEP HIV drug case win for National AIDS Trust at Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of the NAT (National AIDS Trust) in a judgment that confirms an earlier high court judgment that NHS England can legally fund the HIV prevention drug PrEP. This decision means that NHS England is obliged to give due consideration to commissioning PrEP.

Supporting the initial High Court judgment, this outcome means that NHS England will need to reveal its decision on whether PrEP will be recommended for funding.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, said:

“We are delighted to have been vindicated by the Court a second time. HIV is a critical issue in the UK where over 4,000 people acquire HIV every year. PrEP works, it saves money, and most importantly it has the power to prevent HIV acquisition for thousands of people, at the same time as beginning to end the HIV epidemic. This judgement brings that possibility one step closer.

“We look forward to what we hope will be a balanced and evidence-based decision on PrEP by NHS England, as well the opportunity to work alongside NHS England collaboratively for the benefit of people living with and at risk of HIV.”

NAT has been defending their position, supported by the Local Government Association and confirmed by the initial Court decision, that there is no legal impediment to NHS England funding the drug PrEP, and that it should never have been dropped from the new treatments being considered for NHS commissioning.  NHS England had argued that it cannot legally fund it as it is a public health intervention.

NAT were represented by Adam Hundt and Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors.  DPG’s Louise Whitfield commented: “I am very pleased that my clients have overcome NHS England’s arguments about why they could not fund this vital treatment.  The Court of Appeal commented specifically that NHS England should have an internal mechanism to resolve such disputes, and we very much hope this is taken on board.”

To arrange interviews with a NAT spokesperson please contact Charlie Alderwick: charlie.alderwick@nat.org.uk or on 020 7814 6727 or 07947 725299

Notes to editors:

About NAT

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.

Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.

www.nat.org.uk

www.lifewithHIV.org  – a resource for HIV positive people

www.HIVaware.org.uk  – what everyone should know about HIV

What is PrEP?

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) involves HIV negative people taking an antiretroviral drug to avoid getting HIV.

Multiple studies around the world have shown PrEP to be highly effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV. The results of the PROUD trial in England, released in 2015, prove that PrEP works and that concerns about it not working in a real world setting, were unfounded. Read more about the trial here: http://www.proud.mrc.ac.uk/

Most trials of PrEP and the US CDC Guidelines involve taking PrEP daily.  A study in France, ANRS IPERGAY, has looked at the efficacy of PrEP when taken ‘on demand’, in other words not daily but only before and after sex.  There was also significant preventive benefit shown in this trial.