Mayor calls on Government to “not miss opportunity to fund life-changing HIV prevention”
The Mayor of Hackney has today called on the Government to fund the life-changing HIV preventative drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as the NHS Funding Bill enters committee stage in the House of Commons.
PrEP is nearly 100% effective in preventing HIV transmissions, and is currently prescribed to patients in England through a trial that ends in September.
However, while the Government funds the cost of the PrEP drug, local authorities, which have had responsibility for public health since 2013, must fund the costs of providing appointments and the extra staff required for the trial, at a time when public health funding in London has been reduced by government by £70m.
Now, the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, is calling on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, to fully-fund PrEP, and make it widely available as part of a national PrEP programme in England so that new HIV transmissions can be ended.
If the Government is serious about its pledge to get to zero new HIV transmissions by 2030, it must make PrEP widely available as part of a national PrEP programme. The very basis of our National Health Service is that such life-changing treatments should be widely accessible, not just available to those who can afford to pay.
Regional and local authorities in London are playing their part - by funding part of the PrEP trial, despite significant cuts to public health funding, and signing up to the Fast Track Cities pledge. It’s now essential that the Government commit to making PrEP permanently available so people are guaranteed access to this life-changing preventative treatment and put this commitment into law.