PATIENTS could access a “transformative” HIV prevention treatment as early as August following a High Court battle over funding the drug on the NHS.

 

HIV CELL GETTY

Patients could access a “transformative” HIV prevention treatment as early as August

Health minister Steve Brine has announced the timetable for a major trial into Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada, a pill taken before sex which has been shown to reduce the risk of infection in high-risk individuals by around 86%.

Trial drugs could be available “from early August” with at least 10,000 people expected to be enrolled on the trial over the next three years, Mr Brine said in response to a written parliamentary question from shadow public health minister Sharon Hodgson.

NHS England agreed to fund the trial after the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling last year, which said the NHS had the power to pay for PrEP despite its claims that local authorities should fund it.

Mr Brine said: “NHS England and Public Health England announced in December 2016 that up to £10 million is to be made available to run a three-year trial for pre-exposure prophylaxis to answer outstanding questions about future access and implementation.

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The drug reduces the risk of infection in high-risk individuals by around 86%

“Work continues to ensure a robust trial starting as quickly as possible.

“Following the drug procurement, NHS England expects to be able to confirm the award of the final contract no later than the first week of August, meaning trial drugs could be available from early August, in readiness for the trial to begin once ethics approval is received and trial sites are prepared.” American actor Charlie Sheen has announced that he is HIV positive in an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s TODAY show in New York City.

Miss Hodgson said: “The delay with the roll-out of PrEP on the NHS in England has been far too long and has meant this transformative drug has not reached the many people who are exposed to HIV, thus not being able to benefit from this drug being made available to them.

Prince Harry meets man testing for HIV in Singapore “The Government promised a trial late last year but have only got round to ensuring the trial begins now, and have unnecessarily caused delays and worries for those hoping to have access to this life-saving drug.

“Now that we finally have answers on when this trial will begin, it is paramount that there are no further delays or hindrances to ensuring this life-saving and transformative drug is made available on the NHS.”

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/823053/HIV-prevention-drug-treatment-health-available