Responding to a High Court decision today which ruled that the NHS in England can fund a drug that can prevent HIV, Dr Iain Kennedy, chair of the BMA public health medicine committee said:
"I'm pleased to hear that the high court has ruled that NHS England can fund PrEP, which will help save many lives and reduce the risk of HIV. It is disappointing that this case had to end up in the high court in the first place.
Cuts to public health budgets are forcing local authorities to make cost savings and since the government took the axe to public health budgets, funding for many preventative services across England, including sexual health and HIV treatment, have been, and will continue to be, under pressure.
More widely, this is an inevitable symptom of a fragmented and increasingly underfunded public health system. The BMA has long been concerned that the current commissioning arrangements are causing the fragmentation of services. We will be studying this judgement for any potential implications for other preventative and public health interventions, but what we need to see is an urgent review of fragmented commissioning to prevent more serious risks to public health."
Notes to editors
- The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional association and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.