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Green Party pledges to make PrEP available in pharmacies and online

The Green Party has revealed plans to inject billions of pounds into primary care and “end new cases" of HIV by 2030. 

Elected Green Party members will push for “access to the HIV prevention pill online, in pharmacies and from GP services” to “end new cases” of the disease, the party announced today (June 12).

Its manifesto for the upcoming July 4 general election revealed plans to “work towards no more HIV transmissions by 2030”.

It added that it would do so by “advocating for a joined-up approach using proven actions” and by expanding where “the HIV prevention pill” –  pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – is available.

“We will renew successful opt-out HIV testing programmes in A&Es in all areas with a high prevalence of HIV,” it said.


Primary care cash injection


The party also said that it would “push for” a “£2bn capital investment in primary care over the next five years”.

And it added that it would increase “the allocation of funding to primary medical care, with additional annual spending reaching £1.5bn by 2030”.

Spending would be “targeted at areas of greatest need”, according to the manifesto.

The party said it would also “seek to expand diagnostic capacity in communities” to “ensure people are diagnosed early and have more chance of a positive outcome”.

The manifesto also pledged to restore public health budgets “to 2015/16 levels with an immediate annual increase of £1.5bn”, adding that “smoking cessation, drug and alcohol treatment and sexual health services all need to be properly funded”.

Elected Green MPs will also push for “a national commission to agree an evidenced-based approach to reform of the UK’s counter-productive drugs laws”, it added.


Ongoing calls


The promises come after the government announced plans to “explore opportunities” for making PReP “available in a variety of settings…including online, general practitioner services and pharmacies” in October.

Health and social care committee (HSCC) chair Steve Brine also called on ministers to let community pharmacies provide HIV prevention medication PrEP during a Westminster Hall debate in September.

And in 2021, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) called on the government to widen access to PrEP by making it available in community pharmacies “as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party yesterday revealed that it expects spending on the Pharmacy First service to increase more than tenfold by 2027 in its manifesto.

And earlier this week, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey promised more prescribing rights for pharmacists as well as “fairer and more sustainable funding” as he launched his party’s election manifesto.

C+D’s election sentiment tracker has been running for the last two weeks, with a third poll currently underway.

The results have signalled a large base of support for parties other than Labour and the Conservatives, with “Other” options supported by 19% of C+D readers in the second week of polling.

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