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Cost of HIV drug Prep could be factor for health service introduction, says DUP's Paula Bradley

Published 03/08/2016

Paula Bradley, DUP
Paula Bradley, DUP

The cost of a drug which can prevent the HIV infection could be a factor in its introduction in Northern Ireland, the DUP's chair of the Health committee has said.

Last year there was a 422% spike in cases of the virus in Northern Ireland, the highest in the UK.

Judges ruled that the NHS in England could fund the the pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) drug. Stormont would have to approve its availability from the Northern Ireland Health Service.

More: NHS England to appeal against HIV preventative drug ruling  

Speaking to the BBC, Paula Bradley said: "I certainly wouldn't be against the introduction of Prep in Northern Ireland especially given the fact that there has been a 422% rise in new diagnosis of HIV in the last year which is the highest increase of anywhere in the UK.

"I think the price is something that is going to have to be looked at, I know that I have read that they are saying that it could cost up to £400 per month per person, I think that is for daily Prep.

"I don't think everyone that will require this will require daily Prep, for some people it will be event-based dosing so I don't think that figure is maybe as accurate as we think it is.

"Also I think we need to look at the comparable figure of the cost of someone who is on life-long medication for an HIV diagnosis.

"I have been led to believe that the figure around that is about £300,000 within their lifetime."

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