Giving gay and bi men HIV-preventing PrEP on the NHS would save £1 billion, new study finds
Funding PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) drugs on the NHS would save around £1 billion over an 80 year period, according to a new study.
The financial analysis, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, comes from a team at University College London.
The study is called Cost-effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention in men who have sex with men in the UK: a modelling study and health economic evaluation – and you can read it in full here.
PrEP is already available in Scotland and is currently being trialled by NHS England for 10,000 patients over three years.
The study from UCL predicted that a quarter of HIV cases would be prevented if PrEP was given to men who have sex with men.
If provided routinely the cost to the NHS would initially rise, as it spends money on PrEP and treating existing cases of HIV.
Related: What is PrEP and how can I get it? Everything you need to know about HIV-preventing drugs
However, the latter cost would plummet as the infection rates fall, and the analysis predicts that after around 40 years the savings made and spending on PrEP would be equal.
After a further 40 years, the prediction is that £1 billion would be saved.
Dr Alison Rodger of the UCL team of BBC News: “Not only is it a highly effective treatment, it will save money. It’s a no-brainer so it’s a good thing to do.”
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