Hepatitis C And PrEP Bring More Funding Headaches For NHS England
Drugs for hepatitis C and HIV prevention are causing funding problems for the NHS in England as court battles loom and innovation continues to bring more cost pressures.
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A study of tenofovir plus emtricitabine in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis is to begin in England in September, using Mylan’s generic version of Gilead’s originator drug Truvada. Wales is running a similar trial with Truvada, while Scotland has decided to fund the drug for PrEP under the National Health Service.
The EU’s approval of Gilead’s Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis makes it the first medicine licensed in Europe to reduce the risk of HIV transmission through sexual intercourse and puts pressure on Britain’s reluctant, cash-strapped National Health Service to provide public funding for the drug’s preventative use.
The re-launch of the controversial Cancer Drugs Fund in the UK has offered another point for debate about cancer drug pricing, budgetary pressures and the cost of innovation. Pharma companies believe they will have to shoulder additional financial risks while patients will still not get full access to the medicines they need.