PREP, The NHS and the Press

The press reflected yesterdays news about prep and the NHS in different ways today

The BBC and the Independant came up with some relevant and thought provoking insight while the Daily Mail led with "NHS TOLD TO GIVE OUT £5,000-A-YEAR PROMISCUITY PILL"

The BBC pointed out that 75% of the NHS budget is spent on managing conditions.... " many ways this goes to the heart of the dilemma facing the NHS in the 21st Century: how to meet the rising demands being placed on the health service. Not only are there more people, but those people are living longer with a range of conditions that require care, treatment and support. That is because medicine is advancing all the time, and so people are surviving diseases and illnesses that in the past would have killed them. It can be seen in the growing numbers of people living with heart disease, cancer, dementia and, in this case, HIV. It means the costs to the NHS are rising - all the time. Close to three-quarters of the NHS budget goes on treatments aimed at helping people manage their conditions rather than cure them. The response of government and health experts has been to call for a greater emphasis on prevention to try to stop as many of these conditions developing in the first place. Hence, efforts are put into stopping people smoking, drinking too much and eating the wrong foods too often."

The Independent also sought to shine some light on the fact that these sort of decisions will become tougher as time passes: whose life do you choose to spare from disease?

"How can the health service meet the growing demands of a population who are living longer with acute disease, while more advanced, effective and expensive treatments become available. NHS costs are rising fast, which is why English health bosses have balked at paying for a tiny blue pill that can (quite extraordinarily) prevent HIV"

The Daily Mail front page headline read as follows... "WHAT A SKEWED SENSE OF VALUES"

NHS told to give out £5,000-a-year 'promiscuity pill' to prevent HIV - as vital cataract surgery is rationed. It could encourage men to have sex with multiple partners without condoms and may even lead to higher HIV rates as it is not 100 per cent effective.

While admitting inside the paper .... ...96% effective it costs around £400 per patient a month although the NHS would agree a far lower price, possibly half this amount. This is considerably cheaper than the £15,000 a year it costs to treat a patient with HIV.....

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