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NHS England decision not to fund PrEP - London Councils statement

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

Commenting on NHS England's decision not to fund Pre Exposure Prophylaxsis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, London Councils’ executive member for health, said: 

“The capital has the highest rates of HIV in England, making up half of all new diagnoses. Given these worrying statistics, we are deeply concerned by NHS England’s announcement not to fund, or even to proceed with a long-anticipated consultation over the future use of PrEP. 

“Prevention is the cornerstone of the NHS Five Year Forward View and so it is counter-intuitive to drop plans for a new preventative treatment. This could have serious consequences and we will continue to call for more action to protect London’s at-risk population.”

Notes to Editors:

1.    It costs almost £380,000 to treat one person with HIV across their lifetime, while the cost of providing PrEP drugs for one person is around £4,700 per year.          

2.    Local authorities in London are committed to protecting the health of their populations, including those most at risk of contracting HIV. We have been working with NHS England (NHSE) for some time, to try to find a way to offer Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to those most at risk in London, based on the understanding that they would pay for the drugs and local authorities would negotiate with providers through sexual health clinics to include PrEP in their delivery. 

3.    NHSE funds a number of other preventative measures, including contraception, statins and PEPSE (Post exposure prophylaxis for HIV), and this is a real opportunity missed. It goes against the advocacy for prevention set out in the Five Year Forward View and does not make financial sens

4.    London Councils represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all of its member authorities regardless of political persuasion. It also runs a number of direct services for member authorities including the Freedom Pass, Taxicard and Health Emergency Badge. It also runs an independent parking appeals service and a pan-London grants programme for voluntary organisations.