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High Court endorses power to provide preventative drug for HIV

Litigation Letter

High Court endorses power to provide preventative drug for HIV

National Aids Trust v Secretary of State for Health [2016] Med LR 487, [2016] EWHC 2005 (Admin), 2 August 2016

This decision concerned the power of NHS England to commission an anti-retroviral drug to be used on a preventative basis for those at risk of contracting HIV. NHS England refused to consider the use of a preventative anti-retroviral drug (PrEP) in its commissioning process, on the basis that section 1H(2) of the National Health Services Act 2006 deprives it of its power “in relation to that part of the health service that is provided in pursuance of the public health functions of the Secretary of State or local authorities”, given that preventative sexual services fell within the local authorities’ duty.

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