PrEP rationing is symptomatic of NHS bid to cut costs, at all costs

NHS England’s setback in the high court over its attempt to get one set of cash-strapped public bodies (local councils) to foot the £10m-£20m a year bill for PrEP treatment rather than another – itself – is the latest manifestation of the health service’s increasing efforts to reduce the number of treatments it pays for, or the number of patients who receive them, or both.

Gradually, and largely unacknowledged, the NHS is rationing access to more and more types of care in order to try to balance its books, even when doing so includes treatments – such as PrEP, with its 90% success rate – that are proven to work but deemed prohibitively expensive in the midst of its decade-long funding squeeze.

Doctors, patients and health charities routinely insist that lives will be lost as a result, but still the process rolls on, affecting different groups of patients every time a decision is made.

Full story in The Guardian 2 August 2016