ViiV Healthcare has announced that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted Vocabria▼ (cabotegravir long-acting injection) in combination with Rekambys▼ (rilpivirine long-acting injection) for use within NHS Scotland.
The combination is indicated for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in adults who are virologically suppressed (HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL) on a stable antiretroviral regimen without present or past evidence of viral resistance to, and no prior virological failure with agents of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) and integrase inhibitor (INI) class.
The decision means that, for the first time, people living with HIV in Scotland will be able to receive a complete long-acting injectable regimen once every 2-months, following an initiation phase (oral lead in and initiation injections), as opposed to regular, daily oral treatment.
In a recent survey carried out among people living with HIV, 60% live in fear that their HIV status will be shared without their consent and more than half (55%) agree that the fear of their HIV status being shared unintentionally stops them living their day-to-day life as they would like to. Furthermore, 64% of people living with HIV surveyed feel self-conscious about taking daily medication for their HIV and 55% try to hide the fact that they take medication for their HIV.
Brian West European Aids Treatment Group, Vice President of the European Patients Forum said: “Thankfully, huge progress has been made in the management of HIV over the last 40 years, with new treatments expanding much needed choice for people living with HIV. But sadly, stigma remains a reality for some people, and taking a tablet each day can act as both a constant reminder of their HIV status and increase the risk of that status being shared against their will. The option of a long-acting injectable therapy could be a real game-changer for a number of people with HIV in Scotland, providing ’treatment privacy’ for some and providing relief of the daily grind of taking tablets for others.”
 ViiV Healthcare, HIV Awareness and Challenges Survey. Fieldwork conducted August 2021 with a sample of 4,056 nationally representative UK consumers and a sample of 55 people living with HIV across the UK.