Scotland is set to become the first UK nation to routinely offer HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis to eligible patients after the Scottish Medicines Consortium backed the use of Gilead’s Truvada along with four other new therapies to be funded by the NHS.

In clinical trials Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil) was revealed to cut the relative risk of acquiring HIV infection by up to 86% compared with placebo or no prophylaxis.

A recent evidence summary by NICE suggests that provision of PrEP may increase access to other health services such as HIV testing, STI and hepatitis B screening and support for high-risk sexual behaviour.

It is hoped that the once-daily pill, which has NHS list price of £355 a month, could have a significant impact on disease prevalence, given that current prevention methods have not been able to cut the number of new diagnoses of HIV in Scotland in the past ten years.

Elsewhere, AbbVie/Janssen’s Imbruvica (ibrutinib) was accepted for use by the SMC to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in patients with disease that has relapsed after previous therapy.

Whilst Biogen’s Zinbryta (daclizumab) can be used to treat severe or relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The cost regulator also accepted Taltz (ixekizumab) for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, extending the range of disease modifying treatment options for patients who have failed to respond to standard therapies, and Roche’s Kadcyla for breast cancer.

On the downside, the SMC said it was unable to recommend long-term (post one-year) use of Brilique (ticagrelor) to prevent problems caused by blood clots and hardening of the arteries such as heart attacks or strokes, because of uncertainties around the overall clinical benefit balanced against the potential side effects seen in clinical practice.

Source - PharmaTimes

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