Q and A

Question

How much do HIV drugs cost in the UK?

Hi, hope much do HIV meds cost in the UK. Does this mean I am just given the cheapest drugs?

Answer

Hi

Thanks for your question.

Drug pricing in the UK is complicated because the prices paid by the NHS are never made public. Also, different regions in the UK negotiate different prices with different companies.

This can make the actual price much lower than the price listed in the British National Formulary (BNF).

The graphic in Table 1 shows the relative costs for different commonly used combinations. This is from the Midlands and East of England region.

It is important to always remember that cost is not the most important factor for deciding treatment. Even the most expensive combinations are very cost effective treatments. Also, every doctor is able to prescribe every HIV drug when this is the best treatment for a particular patient.

Cost does become important when several different combinations are all equally appropriates for an individual person. In this case, NHS prescribing is based on using the least expensive one.

If someone has problems with side effects, switching to an alternative drug should always be easy in the UK.

Source: Midlands & East of England Prescribing Implementation Guidance 2019-2020 (Version 1.0– June 2019 update). Active as of 1st June 2019. This replaces all previous versions.

This answer has a lot more details about cost and access:
http://i-base.info/qa/14152

Note: This graphic in this answer was updated in June 2019 for a question posted in Feb 2018.

8 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Harry,

    Your question is answered here http://i-base.info/qa/15136

  2. Harry

    Hello, just a week before I had a protected sex (on condom) with unknown person who I am not sure is infected by HIV. Sex was just for few seconds. Now since two days I am suffering from cold is this a sign of early stage of HIV. Please answer as I am very much afraid

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Arkan,

    I’m sorry this sounds really tough for you and for your brother.

    I’d like to have a more detailed conversation with you about the problems your brother is facing. Would you be happy to email me in confidence? My email is roy.trevelion@i-base.org.uk. You can email me at anytime and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

    You could also call me on the i-Base treatment information Phoneline. This is free to callers in the UK. It is open Monday to Wednesday 12 noon to 4pm. On 0808 800 6013.

    Both the Phoneline and our email conversation are strictly confidential.

    Best wishes,
    Roy

  4. Arkan

    Hello I am from UK but one of my brothers has got HIV by injection from one unknown doctor in Iraq and the doctor run away because he did that to more then 10 people know I am struggling I don’t no how to get a treatment for him he is in iraq and treatment there extremely expensive he can’t afford it at all so please there any chance to get treatment for him here in UK?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Tholakele,

    ARVs are free to anyone who is positive and has an address in the UK.

  6. Tholakele

    Hi how are you I’m already on treatment can i get a medication in uk and I want to know if it free

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Zvovich,

    Sorry, but i-Base is a HIV treatment information resource. We are not doctors.

    Are you already on HIV treatment (ART)? What country do you live in?

  8. Zvovich

    Can I get ARVs from you?

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