08.07.19

NHS England recommends uncapped PrEP trial access

NHS England have announced five steps towards better access to the HIV prevention drug PrEP, including recommending removing the capped number of places on the ongoing IMPACT Trial.

This follows a meeting yesterday between Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, NAT (National AIDS Trust), Terrence Higgins Trust, and PrEPster.

The letter from NHS England announcing their plans and commitments was published on social media by the organisation.

Deborah Gold, chief executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), said: “The steps NHS England have outlined are extremely welcome ones, but there remain serious barriers to getting PrEP to those who need it.

“We need the Department of Health and Social Care to commit the necessary funding for routine commissioning as planning for this begins in earnest.

“Local authorities are running sexual health services with a disappearing pool of public health funding. Sexual Health services are struggling.

READ MORE: London is a world leader in reducing HIV according to public health experts

“Nevertheless we are facing an emergency. People are getting HIV because of the shambolic postcode lottery that limits PrEP access; local authorities need to rise to the challenge of being able to provide it.

“Lastly, we need the IMPACT Trial researchers to support the obvious argument that a trial designed to answer questions about implementing a new drug will only give meaningful results if data isn’t artificially deflated with a capped number of participants.

“Currently, people are being diagnosed with HIV while they wait for PrEP to become available in their area – for those people it is too late for PrEP. This is unacceptable. NAT will remain at the forefront of the fight for this game-changing drug.”

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