HIV drug decision will save lives

I'm delighted that PrEP, a drug which dramatically reduces the chances of being infected with HIV is to be made available on the NHS in Scotland.

One of my first questions as an MSP was about whether PrEP will be adopted so I’m delighted by the anouncement.

This is a massive victory for the campaigners and charities such as HIV Scotland who have been pushing for the introduction of PrEP. This decision will undoubtedly save lives.

Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to press for effective early interventions which protect and improve people’s health, reducing costs for the health service in the long run.

The 2016 Scottish Liberal Democrat Manifesto said “We will support access to pre-exposure PrEP treatment for those most vulnerable to HIV transmission.”

Last year I asked the Scottish Government the following -

Question S5W-00360: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 01/06/2016
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has considered the introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis; whether its introduction would assist in preventing future HIV infections, and, if so, to what extent.

Answered by Aileen Campbell (21/06/2016):
The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) provides advice to NHS boards in Scotland about the status of newly licensed medicines and new formulations and indications of established products following submissions from pharmaceutical companies. A manufacturer would need to obtain a marketing authorisation (product licence) for this treatment and make a submission to SMC. The sexual health and blood borne virus clinical leads network have established a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) short life working group to consider a range of issues associated with PrEP in the current context.

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