Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said a drug which can prevent HIV would be a money-saver in the long run.
The High Court has told the NHS in England it can fund provision of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) drug, with the daily pills estimated to cost taxpayers £20 million a year.
South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw said money could be saved with it after DUP Chair of the Assembly Health Committee Paula Bradley stated she “wouldn’t be against the introduction” of the drug here but the price would have to be looked at.
“From a humanitarian point of view, we must do everything we can to help people who need it. In Northern Ireland, there are over 800 people estimated to be living with HIV, with 94 cases diagnosed last year alone. If this drug can help prevent that, then it is our duty to make it as widely available as possible.
“While the drug could of course see an initial financial outlay, we would save money in the long run as the health service could cut down on preventative measures and other lifelong medication, as there would not be as much call to use them.
“It is a positive move the Chair has said she is not opposed to the introduction of Prep in Northern Ireland. I would call for that launch to take place as soon as possible in order to help the fight against one of the biggest challenges facing the human race.”