Help us tell NICE what kidney patients think of Evusheld
- 08 Sep 2022
Kidney Care UK were very disappointed to hear the Government announce that, at this point in time, they would not be purchasing the drug Evusheld, which is licensed for the prevention of Covid-19.
The Government do not believe that there is enough data on whether the drug can prevent infection with the Omicron variant of the virus, which is currently in circulating in the UK. The Government’s scientific advisors will continue to look at new evidence as it emerges.
You can read full details of our response and action we are taking to campaign for the tools to help protect people who are immunosuppressed and at higher risk from Covid-19.
The Government have also asked NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) to begin a full appraisal of Evusheld as a treatment for people who may not respond well to vaccination. As well as analysing all the scientific data about Evusheld, this appraisal will incorporate the views of people who may be eligible for the drug. We need to make sure the NICE committee understand what people who are severely immunosuppressed think about preventative treatments for Covid-19 and the difference they could make to their lives.
Quotes from patients provide committee members with an invaluable insight and understanding, so we would like to include some of your words in our submission of evidence. Please help us by responding to our survey for severely immunosuppressed people who may not respond as well to the vaccine. Quotes from patients provide committee members with an invaluable insight and understanding, so we would like to include some of your words in our submission of evidence. We will not use any names or personal information in the quotes we use, but please be aware that our submission may be published on the NICE website and also on Kidney Care UK’s website.
One of the main clinical trials for Evusheld was the PROVENT trial. The trial participants had not been vaccinated for Covid and were at increased risk of becoming severely ill if they caught Covid. They were also at higher risk of catching Covid than most people because of the job they did or their home situation. During the trial, 3,441 people received Evusheld and 1,731 received the placebo (a dummy injection).
The trial found fewer of the people who had received Evusheld tested positive for Covid, compared to those who had received the placebo. Infections in both groups were quite rare:
This large study was done when a different variant of Covid was circulating. Tests done in the laboratory suggest Evusheld works less well against the current Omicron variants, but when the dosage is doubled it still retains some ability to neutralise (kill) the virus.
Data from Israel, where the drug is already given to severely immunosuppressed people, suggests it can reduce the risk of hospital and death among people infected with the Omicron. However, the UK Government’s scientific advisers feel there is still some uncertainty which is why they decided not to purchase and provide the drug treatment at least for the time being. NICE will be looking at all the existing and new data as part of their appraisal.
Evusheld is given as two injections of tixagevimab and cilgamivab at different sites on the body, preferably in the gluteal muscles (the bottom). The PROVENT study suggested these injections could provide protection for at least six months. Side effects of Evusheld are generally mild, with the most common being allergic reaction and reactions at the site of injection.
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