NHS England refuses to fund local authority HIV drugs

NHS England has said it will no longer pay for HIV drugs provided by local authority commissioned services.

A letter circulated in Yorkshire and the Humber said NHS England would only pay for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) – medication which can prevent infection after exposure to the virus – for providers in a limited set of circumstances.

NHS England said there had been ‘no change in the way ARV drugs are funded’

The decision has been criticised by the Association of Directors of Public Health, which said it was not in the best interests of those at risk of HIV.

The letter was sent by Matthew Groom, NHS England’s assistant director of specialised commissioning in Yorkshire and the Humber, on 21 March. Mr Groom writes that the letter is in response to “a number of queries around the payment of ARV medicines for PEP within sexual health and [genital urinary medicine] services which are commissioned through the local authority and delivered by independent sector providers”.

Full story in The Health Service Journal 1 April 2016