- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended stopping using five COVID-19 treatments, including Merck & Co Inc's MRK antiviral pill for high-risk patients, citing cost-effectiveness concerns.
- NICE acknowledged that there is evidence that Merck's molnupiravir and Gilead Sciences Inc's GILD hospital-administered antiviral remdesivir are effective at treating COVID-19, not found to be cost-effective.
- It also recommended against three other COVID treatments, including GSK Plc GSK and partner Vir Biotechnology Inc's VIR sotrovimab.
- The other two non-recommended are combination antibody treatments, Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) from AstraZeneca plc AZN and Roche Holding AG's RHHBY, Ronapreve (casirivimab/imdevimab).
- The agency cited uncertainty regarding the drugs' effectiveness against the omicron variant.
- NICE did recommend three treatments for COVID in adults, Pfizer Inc's PFE oral antiviral Paxlovid and two repurposed arthritis drugs, RoActemra (tocilizumab) from Roche and Eli Lilly And Co's LLY Olumiant (baricitinib), subject to approval in the U.K. for treating COVID-19.
- NICE currently expects to publish final guidance for the appraisal of tixagevimab plus cilgavimab for prophylaxis in spring 2023.
- Last week, the Biden administration said to keep in place the public health emergency status of the COVID pandemic in the U.S., allowing Americans still to receive free tests, vaccines, and treatments.
- Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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