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NHS Scotland Approves Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis For HIV Prevention; Here's The Details

Update Date: Apr 11, 2017 11:44 PM EDT
pre-exposure prophylaxis
Treatment with pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs like Truvada is approved by the NHS Scotland. (Photo : Getty Images / Justin Sullivan)

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), the advisory board of the National Health Service of Scotland, consented to funding the pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention and allowed people at risk of infection to have access to the important drug.

The SMC has already previously approved the use of the drug by people who have been diagnosed with HIV. The blue pill PrEP is one of the cocktail drugs that the HIV positive people take to keep themselves well.

How Does It Work?

The pill disables the HIV virus when it enters the body and prevents it from multiplying. Several studies have proved that it can reduce HIV infection by 86% and is the drug of choice of many countries to help protect the people at the highest risk of getting HIV, BBC reported.

The decision of NHS Scotland to fund the pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention is expected to put pressure on NHS England start taking action. NHS England claimed it was too expensive a drug to subsidize, which can possibly cost up to 20 million British pounds ($24 million) a year.

The NHS England has already been ordered in two landmark court decisions to start providing the drug to its constituents, The Guardian reported. The NHS England has already relented and has announced it will dispense the drug in a trial with 10,000 people who are at risk to contract the virus.

More Updates On PrEP drug 

Critics of the court decisions last year have said that the money to be used on funding the pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention could affect spending on other medications. Some groups also do not agree to the treatment because they believe it will increase promiscuity.

However, the groups who pushed for the approval of the treatment have maintained that it is the answer to slowing down the spread of the virus or even end the AIDS epidemic. They contend that the cost of the PrEP drug to prevent the spread of infection is much cheaper than the lifetime cost of treating a person with HIV.

With this decision, NHS Scotland is now being hailed by supporters as the international model for HIV management.

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