Today on the BBC News website’s ‘health’ section we find this: ‘First long-acting injection for HIV approved’
The article tells us that ‘Thousands of people with HIV will now be offered a new long-acting injection to manage their condition if they would prefer to stop taking daily pills’; ‘Charities have welcomed the approval of the treatment by the NHS drugs watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’; and ‘An estimated 13,000 people in England could make the switch.’ All positive news!
This news was also covered in similar terms this morning on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme albeit even more explicitly reported as something of benefit being introduced in England. Well done NHS England!
But listening to C4 News tonight I learned that the same innovation had been approved for use by NHS Scotland a month ago!
And with a little research we find that on 11 October 2021 the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) announced this: ‘Cabotegravir (Vocabria), in combination with rilpivirine, was accepted for the treatment of adults living with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV 1) infection. Cabotegravir and rilpivirine are administered by injection into a muscle, by a healthcare professional, every two months. This is the first long-acting injectable treatment for HIV. Some people may prefer this to the current daily pill-based treatment options.’
So this beneficial health innovation in England was deemed newsworthy on two major UK news programmes. Anyone remember this being covered by BBC Scotland in October?
I would hate to have missed any positivity coming from the public service broadcaster about NHS Scotland, however rare!