NHS England doubles places on IMPACT PrEP study to 26,000

Simon Collins

On 11 January 2019, NHS England agreed that enrolment to the PrEP IMPACT study can be expanded from 13,000 to 26,000 places by 2020. [1]

This decision reverses previous statements that the upper limit for the study was fixed. Early demand for access to PrEP meant that over 10,000 participants have enrolled since the study opened in October 2017. But many people in need of PrEP have been on waiting lists – some of whom are likely to have become positive while waiting.

Although it is good that more people might be able to access free PrEP, this study is also controversial for being seen as a way to delay full NHS approval.

While NHS England has agreed to fund drugs costs and some patient costs, local authorities will still have to agree to the increased numbers.


It is good that enrollment has been expanded but the IMPACT study is not a substitute for NHS England commissioning open access across the country. Even with low barriers to join the study, there are many towns and cities that do not have study sites. [2]

A press statement from National AIDS Trust, emphasised the long-standing community demand to expand the study numbers and that it has been completely unacceptable to see people in need of PrEP being turned away from clinics. [3]

PrEP is already available in Wales and Scotland in programmes that are not capped.


  1. NHS England. Update on the PrEP Impact Trial.
  2. PrEP IMPACT study website
  3. NAT press statement. NHS hope to double capacity of prep trial after huge demand for hiv prevention drug. (11 January 2019).

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.