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On the first year anniversary of the opening of the Impact trial, we need to end NHS rationing of PrEP

Friday, October 12, 2018

Saturday October 13 is one year since the first clinic opened in the PrEP Impact trial (13 October 2017), a three-year trial which aimed to provide the HIV prevention drug PrEP to 10,000 people. The number of places on the trial was determined on the basis of anticipated demand but this number proved to be a sizeable underestimate. By the end of March 2018 22 clinics had filled all their allocated places for gay and bisexual men. As a result men in need of PrEP were being turned away. Since then reallocation of places and a boost of a further 3,000 places on the trial has allowed clinics to reopen but this provides only temporary relief. It is expected that most clinic places will be filled up by early next year. Again people in need of PrEP will be denied it, and some as a result will acquire HIV.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, NAT, said: “PrEP is 100% effective at preventing HIV when taken as prescribed. NHS England’s decision-making process concluded that PrEP should be commissioned and just last month the cost of the drug has substantially reduced as a result of court judgments on the patent. It is therefore completely unacceptable for people in need of PrEP to be denied it by the NHS. NHS England and local authorities must urgently agree a national PrEP programme to start as soon as possible in 2019. The Government should play its part by increasing funding to public health so that we maximise the sexual health benefits of the PrEP programme.”

For more details or further comment, contact senior press officer Charlie Alderwick: 020 7814 6727

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