Picture: HIV Campaigner Annie Lennox with Christina McKelvie MSP
Anti-HIV drug welcomed by Christina McKelvie MSP
The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) within the NHS in Scotland. The preventative drug, which reduces the risk of contracting HIV for those exposed to the disease, could be made available within weeks on the NHS.
It is estimated that up to 1,900 people within Scotland are set to immediately benefit from the decision of the SMC.
The decision comes after a concerted effort from The PrEP4Scotland Coalition – made up from HIV Scotland, Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, Waverley Care and NAT.
Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP, Christina McKelvie, welcomed this ‘progressive measure’, in Scottish Parliament motion S5M-05116.
Commenting on the decision, Christina McKelvie said:
“This is a very welcome and progressive step by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and it is entirely right that they have approved PrEP for use in our NHS.
“This decision will save lives and is estimated to have a direct, beneficial impact on up to 1,900 for a start.
“I am incredibly proud to work along HIV Scotland and the rest of the PrEP4Scotland Coalition who campaigned so hard for this decision to finally become a reality.
“It was only fitting therefore that I launched a Scottish Parliament motion recognising the campaigners and, perhaps more importantly, the patients of PrEP who can now be assured of vital treatment, free at the point of entry on the NHS in Scotland.
HIV Scotland CEO, George Valiotis, added:
“HIV Scotland greatly welcomes the decision by the SMC; we have spent years campaigning and engaging with the community, workforce, and decision makers to raise awareness of this HIV game-changer.
“Our success comes from bringing together a wide diversity of stakeholders who contributed to the work on PrEP, and we are delighted to have this recognised in the Scottish Parliament.
“We look forward to continuing the collaborative work to ensure that PrEP is made available to those who need so that Scotland has fewer new HIV transmissions.”