National AIDS Trust v NHS Commissioning Board
CourtHigh Court of Justice, Court of Appeal of England and Wales
  • 2 August 2016 (2016-08-02) (High Court)
  • 10 November 2016 (2016-11-10) (Appeal)
  • [2016] EWHC 2005 (Admin) (High Court)
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting

National AIDS Trust v NHS Commissioning Board, [2016] EWHC 2005 (Admin), was a court case before the High Court of Justice seeking judicial review regarding National Health Service funding for pre-exposure prophylaxis.

The provision of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the British National Health Service to prevent HIV infection has been the subject of much controversy. AIDS campaigners have lobbied for the NHS to approve the treatment to prevent the spread of HIV among members of high-risk groups such as gay men. NHS management considered PrEP to be a preventive treatment that they were not legally able to provide funding for, but should instead be funded by local councils.[1][2]

The issue was taken by the National AIDS Trust to a judicial review by the High Court.[3] In 2016, the High Court determined that NHS England had the power to provide PrEP treatment to these groups. Following the defeat at trial, NHS England announced a plan to appeal the judgment in the Court of Appeal,[4] while also making plans to prepare to implement the wider use of PrEP. To ensure it had sufficient funding to cover the £10m–20m annual cost of PrEP if it was prioritised, NHS England announced that it could no longer guarantee it would be able to commission nine other treatments and services which it had provisionally earmarked for funding.[5]

NHS England lost the appeal,[6] with Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justices Andrew Longmore and Nicholas Underhill finding in favour of the National AIDS Trust on 10 November 2016,[7] with Public Health England announcing a 3-year large-scale trial seeking to enroll over 10,000 people a few weeks later.[8] Subsequent freedom of information requests showed that NHS England spent over £100,000 fighting the case,[9] not including NAT's legal fees, estimated at a further £8,000.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "HIV campaigners win NHS drug battle". BBC News Online. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Councils and charity win High Court battle over HIV treatment decision". Local Government Lawyer. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Judge urged to overturn NHS decision not to fund HIV prevention treatment". The Guardian. Press Association. 13 July 2016. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  4. ^ Boseley, Sarah (2 August 2016). "NHS can fund 'game-changing' PrEP HIV drug, court says". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  5. ^ "NHS England loses HIV drug judicial review". Health Service Journal. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  6. ^ [2016] EWCA (Civ) 1100
  7. ^ Strudwick, Patrick (10 November 2016). "NHS England loses its appeal and could now provide the HIV prevention drug". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  8. ^ Strudwick, Patrick (4 December 2016). "The HIV prevention drug will now be made available to thousands of people". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b Strudwick, Patrick (5 January 2017). "This is how much the NHS spent trying to avoid paying for the HIV prevention drug". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 11 March 2017.