Commons Health Select Committee recommends immediate clarity on PrEP

1 September 2016

We welcome today's report from the Health Select Committee, especially their highlighting of the failure in commissioning PrEP as an example of the new structures in public health causing fragmentation and confusion.

Given the key role PrEP can play in our continued fight against HIV, we also echo the committee's recommendation that 'the outstanding issue of who is responsible for commissioning PrEP for HIV needs immediate resolution, and we recommend that NHS England and DH [Department of Health] clarify the position without delay.'

– Dr Greg Ussher, METRO Charity CEO

In September, 2014, NHS England announced that PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) would be put through the NHS England specialised commissioning prioritisation process, and it proceeded through this process for 18 months. In March this year NHS England announced that in fact commissioning of HIV prevention services was the responsibility of local authorities rather than NHS England. In response to the considerable concern expressed at this decision, NHS England are now seeking further clarification on the legal position, but the situation has clearly caused confusion and delay, rather than concentrating efforts on the evidence for PrEP and how it can be resourced.

We know from research undertaken by the GMI Partnership (METRO Charity, Positive East and Spectra) that there is unmet demand for this game-changing prevention tool, meanwhile 17 people a day are being diagnosed with HIV whilst NHS England delay.

Read more on the Public Health Post-2013 report on the Parliament website.