The UK High Court announced yesterday that it has rejected an application by Gilead to extend its patent on branded Truvada, which is used as PrEP.
This would allow the NHS to use generic PrEP, which would significantly reduce costs.
Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust, said:
‘This is a landmark ruling that should pave the way for the use of generic PrEP on the NHS in England and Wales.
‘Even though branded Truvada is still cost effective when compared to lifelong HIV treatment and care, the use of generics would slash the costs of purchasing the drug. There is now an even stronger economic argument for PrEP being made routinely available on the NHS in England.
‘This ruling also would reduce the cost of PrEP in Wales, where there is currently an uncapped pilot that is using branded Truvada – this further strengthens the case to ensure a long-term agreement for PrEP on the NHS in Wales.
‘A number of trial sites across England are turning gay and bisexual men away from accessing PrEP due to a surge in demand – this is not acceptable. NHS England must now expedite its discussions with local authorities and agree a funding solution so PrEP can have a long-term and sustainable home on the NHS.’