High Court Ruling on PrEP: A Win

2 August 2016

"We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of today's Judicial Review, PrEP is such a vital and effective component in our range of tools against HIV. Having PrEP available to those that need it means we are one step closer to eradicating onward transmission in the UK. I would like to thank our colleagues in the HIV and health sector who under the expert leadership of NAT have kept up the pressure on the Government and NHS England, that has made this landmark moment possible.

"We are however disappointed that NHS England has decided to appeal this judgment. An appeal will further delay any potential commissioning of PrEP for months.", Dr Greg Ussher, METRO Charity CEO.

Read more from NAT.

Background

NHS England said it is up to local authorities to provide Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug, but this was challenged by the National Aids Trust (NAT). With the resounding support of the HIV and health sector.

Using PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%. The once-a-day pill, works by disabling the virus to stop it multiplying.

PrEP is currently used in America, Canada, Australia and France to help protect the most at-risk gay men.

NHS England has explained that PrEP is preventative, and so not its responsibility, stating it did not have the "legal power to commission PrEP" and that under 2013 regulations "local authorities are the responsible commissioner for HIV prevention services".

NHS England has also warned that if it prioritises PrEP, there is a risk of a legal challenge from people wanting similar access to other preventative treatments.

NAT and other HIV and health organisations, including METRO, believe local authorities do not have sole responsibility for HIV prevention in England. Leading to NAT's legal challenge.