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LGA - Councils respond to High Court judgement on HIV treatment PrEP

The Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said:

"We are pleased that today's ruling confirms our position that NHS England has the power to commission the HIV treatment PrEP.

"We firmly rejected the argument by the NHS that it should fall to councils.

"We argued that NHS England was wrong in law and that its power includes commissioning for preventative purposes, such as HIV-related drugs.

"During the transition period to the implementation of the NHS and Care Act 2010, NHS England sought to retain commissioning of HIV therapeutics, which the PrEP treatment clearly falls into.

"We therefore believe that it is, and should remain, an NHS responsibility.

"The LGA was an interested party in court, having decided to take action on behalf of our member authorities. By successfully challenging NHS England's interpretation of the law, we believe this will provide much-needed clarity around the future roles of councils and the NHS on prevention services.

"It also demonstrates that both parties have the joint responsibility of ensuring we can deliver an integrated sexual health system as Parliament originally intended.

"Councils have invested millions in providing sexual health services since taking over responsibility for public health three years ago, and we look forward to continuing to work with NHS England to determine how PrEP could be introduced across the country, and reduce the risk of HIV infection.>

"We hope NHS England now works without further delay to bring this matter forward to decide whether PrEP should be commissioned."

David Mills

Senior Media Relations Officer
Local Government Association
Phone: 020 7664 3200
Email: david.mills@local.gov.uk


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