Greens today welcomed a High Court ruling that the NHS in England can fund a drug that can prevent HIV – rather than passing responsibility to cash-strapped Councils.
Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty, Convenor of the Green Group of councillors said:
“I’m pleased that the Royal Court of Justice ruling this week will force the NHS to rethink its stance on HIV Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). It’s disappointing the NHS is seeking to appeal rather than moving forward with funding PreP.
“This drug has the potential to transform lives and save millions in treatment costs to the taxpayer. It is only right that it be considered as part of a wider programme of HIV prevention.
“At a time of unprecedented Conservative government cuts to council budgets, any decision by the NHS to pass the buck of funding to local Councils would result in very few councils being able to afford to fund PreP. In areas like Brighton and Hove because of the growing incidence of HIV, and where we’ve already seen a 20% cut in HIV prevention funding, we need a strong and lasting settlement on PrEP. We believe that can only come from it being funded directly through existing or future NHS funds, and not susceptible to the massive cuts hitting our council.
“That’s why it’s essential that the NHS plays its part and reviews how it can best integrate PreP into existing prevention work. And why government and the NHS must commit to funding PreP from additional NHS funding.”