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