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Research and evaluation

Charity managing England PrEP trial closed down

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust has taken over management of the three-year impact trial, which has now achieved its 10,000 participant target.

Antiretroviral PrEP pill

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The three-year impact trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment will now be managed by the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust

The research and education charitable trust managing England’s PrEP impact trial has been wound down by its trustees.

St Stephen’s Clinical Research (SSCR) was part of St Stephen’s AIDS Trust (SSAT), which has been closed after 30 years of research in the field of HIV/AIDS.

Management of the three-year impact trial, which will provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment to gather clinical evidence on optimal targeting, uptake and implementation of PrEP on a large scale, was passed to Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust on 1 June 2018, but a timeline for transfer of all elements of the trial is still to be confirmed.

Participants in the trial, which launched in September 2017, have been reassured that they should not be affected by the change.

A statement on the trial website said: “If already enrolled on the trial, all participants will be able to continue to access PrEP and attend their follow-up visits”.

NHS England confirmed to The Pharmaceutical Journal that the target number of 10,000 people have now signed up to the trial.

The outcome of the trial, the largest single study of its type in the world, will help inform the potential to roll out PrEP nationwide.

NHS England announced its plans to start the trial of PrEP in December 2016 after it lost an Appeal Court action, which challenged an earlier High Court ruling that NHS England has the power, although not the obligation, to fund PrEP.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said it was “fully committed to continuing SSCR’s and SSAT’s important research and ensuring their legacy will endure into the future”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204981

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