Sexual health experts applaud decision to make PrEP available for use across NHS in Scotland
10th April 2017
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) welcome today’s decision from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to approve pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for use within the NHS in Scotland.
PrEP is a pill for people who are HIV negative and can be taken daily or before sex to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV.
The decision was announced following an application made to the SMC in December 2016 from a manufacturer of PrEP, and incorporates patient group representations that were submitted in February 2017.
The SMC noted in making its decision that PrEP should be used in combination with safer sex practices such as using condoms. It also noted that patient groups had highlighted that current prevention methods have not managed to reduce the spread of HIV in Scotland over the last ten years.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Elizabeth Carlin, President of BASHH said:
BASHH are delighted at the decision reached today by the SMC to make PrEP available within the NHS in Scotland.
PrEP has rightly been described as a ‘game changer’ and has been shown to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 86%. It is cost-effective for those at the highest risk and is one of the best evidence-based tools for reducing onward HIV transmission.
As a next step we urge that treatment is made available to the people that need it as quickly as possible, both in Scotland and ultimately across the whole United Kingdom.