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Covid-19: Evusheld is unlikely to prevent infection with current or future variants, NICE concludes

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has decided not to recommend Evusheld for adults who are unlikely to have an adequate immune response or cannot have the vaccine against Covid-19, citing a lack of evidence that it is effective against circulating variants.

However, it is still reviewing whether the antibody drug could be used to prevent covid-19 infection in adults at the highest risk of severe illness, including people with immunodeficiency, people who have had a solid organ transplant, and people with cancer.

NICE’s director of medicines evaluation, Helen Knight, acknowledged that the decision would be “disappointing for the many thousands” of vulnerable people who “continue to significantly modify their behaviour to avoid infection.

Commenting on NICE’s decision, Lennard Lee, senior clinical research fellow at the University of Birmingham, said, “While it’s right for NICE to ensure that treatment options are based on the best possible evidence for their safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness, it must be recognised that those who remain extremely vulnerable to covid need to be prioritised in trials akin to those early days of the pandemic to find treatments fit for them.

“Otherwise, we run the risk of consigning half a million people to continue to live in 2020, stuck in their homes, not able to see their families and friends for fear of infection with no protection.”

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Source: The BMJ, 16 February 2023


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