It was the start of a massive expansion of treatment for STIs.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic and an urgent need for drugs to prevent and treat infections.
In April, the NHS announced it would spend £3.8bn to cover all costs associated with treating stye infections.
But that’s not all: the NHS says it is also developing a treatment for the rarest STIs: a medication known as stye therapy.
It is not the only time the government is trying to get money out of stye treatment.
It has invested more than £100m in a £15m study into using a combination of antibiotics and steroids to treat the condition.
It is hoped the new drug will be available in 2020 and will be able to treat a range of STIs and other conditions, from bacterial infections to viral infections, and prevent new ones.
But the drug will cost an estimated £3,500,000 a year, and will only be available to those with insurance.
The government says it has been “very aggressive” in getting drugs to the NHS, and has made a “huge commitment” to stye treatments, as the new study shows.
But it is only the start.
The new study was funded by the government, the private sector and charities, and is being carried out by researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds and Oxford.
Dr Andrew Loughnan, the chief medical officer at the universities, said the drugs will “provide immediate, safe, affordable and effective treatment for a range to which the NHS has access”.
“These drugs are already used by many people who have serious infections that are resistant to other treatments,” he said.
“The challenge is to develop them to be used effectively by people who don’t have a particular condition or are at risk.”
He said they would be tested in a controlled trial with “real-world” patients, and “will help to define a safe and efficacious approach to treating these infections”.
“We hope these new drugs will make a difference in the lives of people who need them,” he added.
‘A great opportunity for the NHS’The government has set out a range, including £10m for research into how to develop a vaccine and other treatments for stye.
But it says it will also look at ways to get more people to take the drugs, such as the use of a pill that will make people vomit.
There is also talk of making it easier for people to get the drugs through the NHS.
More funding for STI treatment drugsThe Department of Health says it plans to spend £7.6bn to help the NHS tackle STIs by 2020.
It says that includes funding to create a new drug-testing system and support for researchers who are looking into new treatments.
But it also says that money will not be used to subsidise the cost of treatment, as it is needed for drugs for people who cannot afford them.
A spokesperson said: “The Department is investing in the NHS and is investing £1.2bn to support our STI prevention efforts, including providing new drugs and support services, including testing and support.”
The spokesperson added: “This investment is in addition to the £4bn investment announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review and will continue to provide for the urgent need to increase our investment in our STIs prevention strategy.”
We are currently working closely with all NHS organisations and will ensure they have the support they need to provide this support.