LONDON — A planned PrEP rollout in the UK has hit a snag as NHS England announced this week it was “not their responsibility” to commission the drug, which has proven an effective means of reducing the risk of HIV transmission, the Guardian reports.
Terrence Higgins Trust, the largest provider of HIV and sexual health services in the voluntary sector, expressed shock and disbelief as structured plans for introducing the drug were shelved. More than 2,500 men who have sex with men are diagnosed with HIV each year in the UK, according to the trust.
Described as a “HIV game changer” and already available in the U.S., France, Canada, Israel and Kenya, the process of public consultation would have been one of the final steps before a decision is made on NHS availability. The consultation response forms part of a submission to the clinical priorities advisory group, the body that it had been thought would make a decision on PrEP at its next meeting in June, the Guardian article notes. NHS England essentially said more research is needed.