Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 27th September 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help (a) improve the effectiveness of and (b) increase access to Covid-19 treatments for people with compromised immune systems.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what action he is taking to increase rapid patient access to anti-viral treatments for covid-19.
Currently, immunocompromised patients, who form part of the high-risk cohort are a priority group eligible for receiving novel effective COVID-19 treatments within the community following a positive test. These treatments include both antiviral drugs and neutralising monoclonal antibodies which are available via COVID Medicines Delivery Units.
The Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel has been established to review the patient cohorts which could be eligible for COVID-19 therapies. On 30 May 2022 the Department published an Independent Advisory Group report which revised the high-risk cohort and included additional groups of patients. As a result of these changes and improved identification by the National Health Service, the cohort of eligible patients has grown to an estimated 1.8 million patients in the United Kingdom.
Access to treatments could be extended further if evidence from clinical trials supports doing so. The PANORAMIC study which aims to improve understanding of the effectiveness antivirals in preventing hospitalisation and/or death in a largely vaccinated population. It will provide data for the NHS to determine which patient groups could benefit most from antiviral treatments.
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