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25 October 2017, 06:01
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A year of generic PrEP could recoup its own cost within five years

A year of generic PrEP could recoup its own cost within five years - picture 1

A cost-effectiveness model developed by Public Health England finds that just one year’s worth of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), given to gay men during a period of moderate to high HIV risk, would recoup its own costs and save the NHS money within 23 years if PrEP effectiveness was as high as that seen in the PROUD study – and if PrEP drug prices remained at the current level, Aidsmap reports.

However, if drug prices fell by 90% as a result of the availability of generics, one year of PrEP would recoup its costs within five years.

A year’s worth of full-cost PrEP given to 5000 gay men at high risk of HIV would cost the NHS £27 million, and a year of generic PrEP, at 10% of the cost, would cost £3.5 million.

The model differs from another one developed by University College London which was published almost simultaneously in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Whereas that one was a dynamic model which mapped out the savings or cost due to a PrEP programme being implemented over a number of years, this one isolates the savings or costs due to a single year of PrEP being given to gay men who need it and shows the effect of that single year. It takes into account infections directly averted while men are using PrEP, but not the prevention of onward transmission from those men.