HIQA Health Technology Assessment on PrEP Programme for Ireland Published
On June 14 the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) released the final report on their Health Technology Assessment of a national PrEP programme for Ireland. You can download a copy of the full report and learn more about the process and the advice to the Minister for Health from their page here.
The big three findings were the same as what was in the draft report released in April: PrEP is safe, effective, and cost saving.
In the accompanying press release HIQA’s Director of Health Technology Assessment and Deputy Chief Executive, Dr. Máirín Ryan noted that “The primary barriers to introducing a PrEP programme in public STI clinics in Ireland relate to staffing and infrastructural issues. A significant investment in STI services is required for a national PrEP programme to ensure a safe, sustainable and equitable service.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health, Simon Harris both welcomed the publication of the report and reiterated their promise to introduce a national PrEP programme by the end of the year, although they gave no firm date for when we can expect that programme to commence.
It’s expected that it will take considerable time for many of the public sexual health clinics to be able to offer proper support for PrEP users, but that PrEP will be begin to be provided for free sometime in the Autumn.
So while this is great news, and an important step forward, for the time being nothing has changed in terms of access to PrEP support services or to the medication itself. We’ll keep you updated as things develop.