Sotrovimab: Can the new Covid antibody treatment deliver on its promises? – BBC Newsnight

the government's vaccine gamble spending big and taking risks when so much was unknown paid off by any measure it's been a huge success and now we're still spending big and spending early on other treatments at times before we've got the full data but some in healthcare now believe it might be time to think again only today the government announced a new drug to treat covid gsk's cetrovimab the uk has ordered a hundred thousand doses it is claimed to reduce the risk of those with covid needing to go to hospital by 79 and it's given by an intravenous infusion that takes 30 minutes it sounds great but some worry actually deploying it may not be so simple so we're getting these trials announced in unvaccinated people and that's not the reality in the united kingdom gps are overwhelmed we can't expect british patients to get notice their symptoms get tested get treated within five days of symptoms that's that that is so quick it's very hard to do that and this intravenous infusion that involves intravenous infusion is is a difficult procedure it's very hard for gps to take that on as well who's actually going to do that we know much of this because the full trial was published recently this wasn't the case when the uk regulator approved another drug malnu piravir a press release from the company that markets it merck announced that it would reduce hospitalizations or deaths in high-risk people by 50 percent at the time newsnight was cautious about this statement because we hadn't seen any data and we still had questions about how well the drug would work in people who have been vaccinated or who had antibodies following a coveted infection and now over in america further data from a key clinical trial have been presented to the drug regulator there these data show the reduction in hospitalizations dropped to 30 percent and that wasn't all with merck and molna pirovia we hear the good news by press release we don't hear the bad news we've heard about one study where there was a 50 reduction in hospitalization early on later on in that study there was no benefit in the second half it shows some benefit for people who are antibody negative now in the uk most people will be vaccinated they'll be antibody positive if you look at the antibody positive people in the study there's no benefit at all so why do we use this drug for vaccinated people in the united kingdom is there is there actually any use merck said it is not yet clear why such a difference was observed in the two parts of the study but they're confident in the clinical data for molnu pyruvi which consistently showed a benefit when taken as directed within five days of symptoms the uk was the first in the world to approve molnu peruvia and bought around 480 000 doses announcing it would reduce hospitalizations by 50 percent we don't know how much the uk has paid but other similar countries have paid 500 pounds for a course of treatment so the upper end of expenditures on a on a single drug undoubtedly uh and it's okay if if it was going to produce the benefit that's expected in times of prices at the beginning of the pandemic you want to move quickly because of the costs of moving slowly but we're not in that state anymore we're now in a position where we do have the time to to wait for better data uh and one has to ask why that didn't happen this time some argue that it's worth spending big on drugs and vaccines just in case the current crop aren't as effective against emerging variants but others say we need to stop thinking about the impact of doing this there are lots of other areas of health that need funding too and people with other conditions could miss out we've got to start being responsible we're out of crisis mode now we're moving into endemic mode and and we're going to see new variants turning up and we can't every time there's a new variant throw hundreds or millions or billions of pounds at a technological response that's not sustainable we need to sort of revert to the usual evidence-based uh careful assessment of how to spend the the monies that we have the government's vaccine strategy paid big dividends and unknowns not least new variants undoubtedly lie ahead but questions remain over the long term wisdom of gambling as a strategy

As found on YouTube

Add Comment