Working with a group of other charities, Kidney Care UK has written to the new Health Secretary Steve Barclay to call on the UK Government to buy and provide preventative monoclonal antibody therapies such as Evusheld.
Covid infections remain high, emphasising the urgency of this situation for vulnerable people who feel forgotten while the rest of the country returns to normal. Despite vaccination and anti-virals, this group continues to be at higher risk from Covid, and requires urgent protection.
The letter is being shared with the national press. Additionally we have written to the Chancellor and former Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi to request his support.
The call comes at the same time as over 125 clinical professionals from 17 specialties and all 4 UK nations have produced a powerful consensus statement which is overwhelmingly supportive of making the treatment available to immunocompromised patients, including those with kidney disease. The statement was co-ordinated by Dr Lennard Lee at the request of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Vulnerable Groups in Pandemics and it has defined seven potential clinical benefits of this treatment, including the benefits to healthcare systems and communities.
You can get involved by writing to your MP to ask them to help and by writing to the Secretary of State to urge him to buy and make available preventative Covid treatments like Evusheld.
Evusheld was developed for the pre-exposure prevention of Covid-19, sometimes referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis. This means it is given to patients before they are exposed to the virus in order to prevent them from contracting Covid-19 if they are exposed to it. The drug was authorised in March 2022 but has not been procured or given to UK patients.
Evusheld NICE consultation
In very recent news, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has just announced that it has been asked to carry out an evaluation of Evusheld for preventing COVID-19. We will be taking part in this written consultation exercise to discuss the draft remit and scope. This scoping exercise takes place between 1-12 August. It will then be followed by evidence gathering before actually putting out guidance to make the drug available.
We welcome this as a step forward (although it is belated) but sincerely hope there will be a sense of urgency in making a treatment which is already available in many other countries available here in the UK.
I have had a kidney transplant for 33years and have therefore been immunosuppressed for 33 years. I have always regarded myself as the same as everyone else, I have worked all my life, had a normal social life and despite hospital visits was considered no different from my colleagues, friends or family. When Covid came along I had no idea what it would mean. Like many I waited for and looked forward to a vaccine, naively thinking it would give me my life back. As time went by it became clearer that that was not the case, and that the vaccine was not as effective for immunosuppressed people. I have now had 5 vaccines and have no detectable Covid antibodies. Because of this I find myself in a very similar position to March 2020, with me and my wife both desperately trying to avoid Covid. We have a very restricted life, we continue to use online shopping, and we are unable to go to any indoor social events including funerals. We ask anyone who visits us, which is very few, to carry out a lateral flow test. This whole situation has taken a toll on my mental health I feel very stressed, very ‘down’ and sleep poorly. We hear repeatedly on TV from many sources including politicians that we are now ’post pandemic’ with no regard for people like myself who are very definitely not post pandemic. We feel that even close friends and family don’t understand the position we are in and that many without any links to people like us don’t even know we exist. This whole situation is barely tolerable but is made even worse by knowing there is a treatment that could help but is not being funded. Without it there is no end in sight.Bob Crosier
Receiving my double organ transplant after waiting over 3 years has been a gift that I just can’t enjoy yet because I am utterly terrified I will get COVID and risk the organs I waited so long for. A transplant is meant to give a new quality of life, but my only ‘life’ at the moment is lived from the safety of my four walls at home. It doesn’t make sense that the government are ploughing more money and resources into transplant medicine but refusing to purchase something preventative to keep these transplants safe.Lara Wahab
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