Evusheld Update – Friday 12th August 2022   

On the 11th of August it was announced that Evusheld would not be procured by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).  In its statement, the DHSC have indicated that the decision not to procure doses of Evusheld was down to a lack of data on the duration of protection offered by treatment in relation to the Omicron variant. 

A review by the health watchdog NICE will get under way this autumn, but is not expected to report until April next year.  On hearing the statement, Professor Bethan Peach, Chair of Myaware’s Medical and Scientific Committee said:

‘Myaware are extremely disappointed with the decision of the government not to fund Evusheld in light of all the evidence that it is protective especially using the double dosage suggested by the manufacturers.  Our members can be assured that myaware will continue to lobby the government to alter their decision and to fund this intervention as soon as possible.’

Members may be interested in the links to a couple of focus groups that are raising awareness of this situation, and are also trying to lobby the government to fund Evusheld for vulnerable people. 

Evusheld website

Update 10th August 2022

Professor Bethan Peach, Chair of Myaware’s Medical and Scientific Committee, has written to Stephen Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care with members’ concerns that although Evusheld has been approved by the MHRA, the Government has stalled on procurement of this drug which is currently available in France, Canada, Israel and the US.

A copy of Professor Lang’s letter can be viewed here 

A template letter has been prepared if members wish to write to their local MP to express their concerns about the delay in roll out of this drug. 

download a copy here

In March 2022, Evusheld was authorised for use in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Evusheld was ‘authorised’ to be used before being exposed to the risk of COVID-19 infection in order to prevent disease (known as ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis’). This treatment is aimed at adults who are unlikely to mount an immune response from COVID-19 vaccination or for whom vaccination is not recommended.

See link for more information.

The MHRA has highlighted that the efficacy of Evusheld against the Omicron variant is not yet fully understood and that there is not yet enough data to know how effective Evusheld is against Omicron or the duration of its effect against this variant, and the MHRA will work with the company to establish this. The Government are currently assessing all the available evidence for Evusheld, to make a decision on whether it should become available to UK patients. You can read the Government’s response (dated 25th May 22) to a recent petition to ‘fund Evusheld’ at this link.

The government’s response concludes with: ‘We are working in parallel to understand who could benefit the most from pre-exposure prophylaxis. The new Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel is providing advice on the most appropriate patient cohorts for new COVID-19 therapeutics, including preventive treatments such as Evusheld. This will help with determining who could benefit from such treatments if they are found to be sufficiently effective, and under what circumstances. Final clinical policies and eligibility would be determined by the NHS and Devolved Administrations.

Myaware will update this page as soon as further news is shared RE progress of availability of this treatment.