Coronavirus: Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 26th April 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to making (a) Evusheld and (b) other preventative treatments available via the NHS for prophylactic use for people who are at high risk of severe illness from covid-19 as soon as possible.

Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that severely immunocompromised patients have access to Evusheld following the award of conditional marketing authorisation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency; and what his timeframe is for the first patients to start to receive that treatment.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Evusheld was granted conditional marketing approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 17 March 2022. However, the positive trial data was published prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant and the MHRA’s approval has indicated uncertainty over the appropriate dose needed for protection against Omicron, for which there is no clinical data.

Understanding the efficacy of Evusheld against the Omicron variant is necessary prior to any procurement or deployment. Whilst the UK Health Security Agency continues to test the efficacy of Evusheld against the Omicron variant, the Department and the National Health Service are also conducting reviews to identify appropriate patient cohorts and approaches to the potential deployment of pre-exposure prophylaxis.  This is in addition to continuous monitoring of alternative potential prophylactic therapies. Currently, immunocompromised patients are a priority cohort receiving novel effective COVID-19 treatments. Sotrovimab, a neutralising monoclonal antibody and antiviral drugs are available for patients who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, hospitalisation or death.

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