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NHS can fund HIV prevention drug, court rules

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6082 (Published 10 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6082
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

NHS England does have the power to commission pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection, the Court of Appeal has found in a ruling that will please local authorities but could cause anxiety for users of other specialised health services.

The case arose out of the refusal of NHS England to include PrEP in a list of specialist services it was considering. It argued that prevention of HIV infection was a public health obligation and fell outside its area of responsibility and therefore that local authorities should pick up the tab.1 2 3 4

The decision was challenged by the National Aids Trust, which won in the High Court and has now defeated an appeal brought by NHS England in the appeal court. The ruling does not mean that NHS …

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