EXCLUSIVE: First Minister confirms Scotland will make its own decision on PrEP

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PinkNews Exclusive
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Scotland will make its own decision on pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, after NHS England extended trials for two years.

Currently running for reelection in Glasgow Southside, the leader of the SNP told PinkNews that she was “keen” for Scotland to go its own way on PrEP and said it wouldn’t necessarily be the case Scotland follow recommendations made in England.

EXCLUSIVE: First Minister confirms Scotland will make its own decision on PrEP

Fears about PrEP in Scotland arose, when it was reported that the Scottish Government was to accept the findings of health chiefs south of the border.

However, the First Minister told PinkNews this wasn’t the case.

“I am keen that we take our own decisions and that we debate these issues in parliament and certainly don’t take a view that we will not do things because they aren’t done in England,” she said.

“That’s not my position.”

When asked if this meant she could see Scotland differing from NHS England’s decision and rolling out PrEP, Ms Sturgeon added: “Absolutely.

“It’s not necessarily the case that we would follow that [sic: two years further testing] in Scotland. I think we will take our own decisions.”

In Scotland, decisions on new medicines are taken by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) who decide whether a new treatment should be made available on the NHS.

As of September last year, no manufacturers of PrEP had made an application to the SMC, though the Scottish Government said it would continue to monitor the regulatory position.

Last month, NHS England kicked the roll out of PrEP into the long grass, stating that it had to show it was cost effective.

A full interview with the First Minister will be published later this month, as part of our Scottish Parliament election coverage.