Government Policy

I am very new to this forum but not to Blood Cancer.

I am sure their must be many of you out there who feel abandoned by the “ Living with COVID “ policy. We as a community of the most vulnerable seem to have no real voice at all. Regardless of which team we support we need to stand up and shout out stop the sham the government aren’t really doing anything about us. I’m sure many of you found getting an exttra vaccine shot difficult whether it was four or five. If it has little or no effect then this is a headline not a means of permitting some semblance of normality. Take as an example Evusheld, announced on 17th March as approved , as it was previously far earlier in USA and Isreal. Uk gov no plans at all re ordering or application. Seems we won’t get votes for speed of vaccination roll out as per rest of population. I just think we need now to speak as one community to voice our contempt for the apathy apparent by the Government. I want people in our position to speak together to petition Parliament to do more to help us. COVID is real and to us very much so. Don’t let the Government pretend it’s flu. Please post if your in favour of a stronger Voice.

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Hi @MCA I am so glad that you have found our forum.
I think we are also so lucky to have Blood Cancer UK (and other charities) to be fighting our cause too.
Look after yourself and I look forward to hearing more about you.

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I can remember when Astra Zeneca announced to the world they had a vaccine to fight Covid . Helen Gilbert saying we will leave nobody behind and they would carry on research until they found a treatment for those who did not respond well to the vaccines .
Well they kept their word and produced Evusheld shame this Government have not kept theirs .

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Hi Geri,

My sentiment exactly. We must remember Blood Cancer Uk not political.
As intimated in earlier post this game changer for us is possibly not on the list of priorities for those in Westminster. Maybe cost but I doubt this is the issue I suggest incompetence and political priorities overshadow this situation. We need a Minister responsible for the people at risk and more info and responsiveness. I wish you well. M

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Looks like we will have to continue to wear our stand back I’m shielding badge, face masks and having more vaccines even though we don’t know if we have any antibodies or T cells. I guess 500,000 people doesn’t win an election.
Have you signed Adrian’s petition not sure how to add it to this, but I’m sure someone else will.
Welcome to the forum.

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Adrian’s petition sounds interesting? We only need 100,000 people before a partion considered for debate in Parliament. 500,000 plus friends relatives and families is a very significant number.

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Here you go Fund Evusheld the preventative COVID19 antibody for immunocompromised - Petitions

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Thanks so much CaroleCW, that link will be forwarded to all my contacts.

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It would be helpful if this petitions existence was made widely known to the community possibly a link in Blood Cancer Uk web page ?

Good idea @MCA. I will mention it to the Blood Cancer UK’s Digital Support Officer. The link has been shared on another thread about “Any news about authorisation of Evusheld” which you may find interesting to read too. It gives a link to parliamentary questions asked very recently about the availability of Evusheld.

Thanks purdy1966
I signed up at 7725 signatures yesterday evening and made a small effort to send link via whats ap and email to friends family naighbours etc i see were up to 7836 as i write this. Clearly this can grow exponentially if it was more widely known about. So getting it on the website of Blood Cancer Uk and maybe other organisations and maybe like Evusheld “be a game changer” in terms of raising support for the petition.
Could we post something at least in all threads about it or start a seperate one? you will know more than me as a newbe to this forum?

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Summary Parliamentary Questions since approval Evusheld

24/3/2022

Duncan Baker Conservative, North Norfolk

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2021 to Question 92097 and following the Conditional Marketing Authorisation awarded by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on 17 March 2022, what plans he has to ensure that severely immunocompromised patients have access to Evusheld; and what estimate he has made of when the first patients will start to receive that treatment.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive. Any public announcement on the procurement of treatments would be made after an agreement is reached with companies. The Department is scoping the potential introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis. This includes identification of the most appropriate patient groups which could benefit and the potential deployment and administration process. However, treatments must be clinically cost-effective and demonstrate sufficient efficacy against Omicron and new variants.

28/3/2022

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when Evusheld will be made available to (a) adults and children over 12 who have primary and secondary antibody deficiency, and who may not produce an adequate response to Covid vaccines (b) those for whom vaccination is not recommended.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are unable to provide the information requested as this is commercially sensitive. Any public announcement on the procurement of treatments would be made after an agreement is reached with companies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the context of the Conditional Marketing Authorisation awarded by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on 17 March 2022, what plans he has to (a) procure Evusheld and (b) roll out the treatment to severely immunocompromised patients.

28/3/2022

Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many doses of the MHRAapproved Evusheld covid-19 preventative treatment for immunocompromised patients his Department plans to procure; and when he expects to outline eligibility to receive this treatment.

Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the context of the Conditional Marketing Authorisation awarded by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on 17 March 2022, what plans he has to (a) procure Evusheld and (b) roll out the treatment to severely immunocompromised patients.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are unable to provide the information requested as this is commercially sensitive. Any public announcement on the procurement of treatments would be made after an agreement is reached with companies.

12/4/2022

Lord Mendelsohn Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, other than Evusheld, they are aware of any monoclonal antibody treatment that can protect the clinically extremely vulnerable through pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP) against Omicron and its variants; and, if so, to list them.

Lord Kamall The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department’s Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce is scoping the potential for pre-exposure prophylaxis with experts from the Prophylaxis Oversight Group, the UK Health Security Agency and the multi-agency group RAPID C-19.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has approved two such products Evusheld and Ronapreve. However, treatments must demonstrate sufficient efficacy against Omicron and new variants. Ronapreve has been withdrawn from general use as it has since been found to be ineffective against the Omicron variant. We are therefore gathering data on how Evusheld performs against new variants.

19/4/2022

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the results of Government’s tests on the effectiveness of the drug Evusheld against covid-19 omicron sub variants will be published.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

20/4/2022

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has undertaken an assessment of which immunocompromised patients should be eligible for treatment with the drug, Evusheld, due to their lack of response to the covid-19 vaccine; and whether the Government has plans to undertake antibody testing on those individuals to assess their response.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department is reviewing the potential introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis treatments, such as Evusheld. This includes the identification of appropriate patient groups, the potential deployment and administration process and assessment of antibody testing prior to treatment.

Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the timeframe for Evusheld being available for eligible patients following its recent MHRA approval.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive. Any public announcement on the procurement of treatments would be made after an agreement is reached with companies.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to place an order for the drug, Evusheld.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive. Any public announcement on the procurement of treatments would be made after an agreement is reached with companies.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the Government is conducting tests of the drug, Evusheld, on covid-19 omicron sub variants in the context of the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency having demonstrated through similar studies that that drug maintains protection.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the results of Government’s tests on the effectiveness of the drug Evusheld against covid-19 omicron sub variants will be published.

Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department’s Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce is scoping the potential for pre-exposure prophylaxis, alongside experts from the Prophylaxis Oversight Group, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the multi-agency group RAPID C-19. As part of this evaluation, treatments must demonstrate sufficient efficacy against Omicron and new variants to avoid escape mutations. Therefore, the UKHSA is undertaking further testing on Evusheld’s effectiveness against the Omicron variant. The timing of these results is dependent on the success of the testing assays, therefore we are currently unable to confirm when these results may be published.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has authorised Evusheld for use in the United Kingdom. However, it has noted in its Summary of Product Characteristics that no clinical data is available on the use of Evusheld against Omicron variants and there is uncertainty on the dosage and duration of effectiveness, as in vitro data has shown reduced efficacy against some variants, including Omicron.

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Reply

MCA

2h

I have written to my MP as many have done and in six pages referred to the 5 TESTs the Government were asked to consider in there living with Covid Plan and their atrocious performance generally but more specifically in relation to test 5, ref was made to the excuses made so far.

5 Point Plan

Multiple Sclerosis Society UK

5 tests for the Government’s plan for Living with COVID-19: the support…

The Prime Minister is expected to outline a ‘plan for living with COVID-19’ in England. This briefing sets out 5 tests the plan must pass to make sure people at highest risk from COVID-19 are well supported to live with COVID-19 now and into the…

In relation to efficacy against omicron

https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/medical-releases/evusheld-long-acting-antibody-combination-retains-neutralising-activity-against-omicron-variants-including-ba2-in-new-independent-studies.html

in relation to confidentiality

The government have also apparently hidden behind the suggestion of commercial confidentiality, although this situation was strongly denied in an article in I News on April 5th Health Section (subscription only). Hence no link. See also Adrian Warnock’s website

Blood Cancer Uncensored – 5 Apr 22

iNews reports on Astra Zeneca’s criticism of the UK government for not…

The staggering news that the UK government has not even bothered to open negotiations with Astra Zeneca about Evusheld is covered in the iNews this morning as their lead article on their website!. Includes a quote from me and a link to our petition…

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Hi @MCA even more information, thanks, take care

Vicki Foxcroft labour mp has asked a question in pmqs today about access to evusheld for the many vulnerable still shielding . Boris Johnson has promised to meet with her asap (his words) to discuss the situation

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Update to written Parliamentary Questions & Answers 1

Question

Andrew Gwynne Labour Denton and Reddish

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to making (a) Evusheld and (b) other preventative treatments available via the NHS for prophylactic use for people who are at high risk of severe illness from covid-19 as soon as possible.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 26 April 2022

Evusheld was granted conditional marketing approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 17 March 2022. However, the positive trial data was published prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant and the MHRA’s approval has indicated uncertainty over the appropriate dose needed for protection against Omicron, for which there is no clinical data.

Understanding the efficacy of Evusheld against the Omicron variant is necessary prior to any procurement or deployment. Whilst the UK Health Security Agency continues to test the efficacy of Evusheld against the Omicron variant, the Department and the National Health Service are also conducting reviews to identify appropriate patient cohorts and approaches to the potential deployment of pre-exposure prophylaxis. This is in addition to continuous monitoring of alternative potential prophylactic therapies. Currently, immunocompromised patients are a priority cohort receiving novel effective COVID-19 treatments. Sotrovimab, a neutralising monoclonal antibody and antiviral drugs are available for patients who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, hospitalisation or death.

Question

Caroline Lucas Green Party Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research the Government is commissioning to assess the efficacy of Evusheld against covid-19 variants; when data from that research will be available; and if he will make a statement.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 26 April 2022

The UK Health Security Agency is undertaking in vitro testing on Evusheld’s effectiveness against the Omicron variant. The timing of these results is dependent on the testing assays. When available, the data will inform any decisions on this treatment, including procurement.

27/4/2022 Vicky Foxcroft Prime Ministers Questions (@24mins) as per @geri147

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Boris acknowledges Shielding exists i thought he abolished it in August 2021!

However he cant pronounce the drugs name its not “Evershield” :sweat_smile:

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Update to written Parliamentary Questions & Answers 2

Henry Smith Conservative Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 March 2022 to Question 141960 on Evusheld, what progress has been made on the assessment of Evusheld for treating immunocompromised patients?

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

Any public announcement on the procurement of therapeutics would be made after an agreement is reached with companies, as this information is commercially sensitive. The Department continues to examine the potential introduction of prophylaxis, which includes deployment and administration processes. Any such therapeutic treatment must provide evidence that it is clinically cost-effective, does not contribute to the generation of new variants and demonstrate sufficient efficacy against Omicron and new variants.

The Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel is providing advice on the most appropriate patient cohorts for new COVID-19 therapeutics, including preventive treatments such as Evusheld. Final clinical policies and eligibility would be determined by the National Health Service and the devolved administrations.

Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Oxford West and Abingdon

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement from the MHRA of 17 March 2022 on Evusheld, how long Evusheld will take to manufacture; when it will be available; and how people will be prioritised to receive it.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

Any public announcement on the procurement of therapeutics would be made after an agreement is reached with companies, as this information is commercially sensitive. The Department continues to examine the potential introduction of prophylaxis, which includes deployment and administration processes. Any such therapeutic treatment must provide evidence that it is clinically cost-effective, does not contribute to the generation of new variants and demonstrate sufficient efficacy against Omicron and new variants.

The Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel is providing advice on the most appropriate patient cohorts for new COVID-19 therapeutics, including preventive treatments such as Evusheld. Final clinical policies and eligibility would be determined by the National Health Service and the devolved administrations.

Henry Smith Conservative Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of immunocompromised individuals who have (a) been hospitalised and (b) died as a result of covid-19 since the MHRA authorised Evusheld for use in the UK.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2022 to Question 151279, on Evusheld, whether the UKHSA has reviewed studies published by the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency on the effectiveness of… Evusheld against the covid-19 omicron variant; and for what reason the UKHSA has decided to undertake duplicate studies on the effectiveness of that drug.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2020 to Question 151279, on Evusheld, what other covid-19 variants Evusheld is being tested against.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

Evusheld has been tested against the Alpha, Beta, Delta and Omicron BA.1 variants. It is currently being tested against Omicron BA.2.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2022 to Question 151279, on Evusheld, when the UKHSA began testing Evusheld’s effectiveness against the covid-19 omicron variant; and whether UKHSA has guidance on how long that testing should take

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on

28 April 2022

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2022 to Question 151279, on Evusheld, whether the UKHSA conducted similar testing against the covid-19 omicron variant for the therapeutic treatments available for that disease.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

We have tested other licensed therapeutics, where available from companies, against Omicron BA.1. While the data has been provided to Department, it is covered by confidential disclosure agreements with the relevant companies. We are currently completing testing against Omicron BA.2.

Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2022 to Question 151279, on Evusheld, how long the Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce or its predecessor took to assess and make a recommendation on the available antiviral treatments for covid-19.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Henry Smith Conservative Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what timeframe the UK Health Security Agency are working to in order to assess the effectiveness of Evusheld against the Omicron variant of covid-19.

Maggie Throup Conservative Erewash

Answered on 28 April 2022

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

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Thanks for sharing these latest updates, good that some MPs are keeping up the pressure re Evusheld. A bit concerned Maggie Throup has now inserted the phrase “does not contribute to the generation of new variants ” into her stock response , I am cynical and view it as another get out clause for them to more narrowly limit who might be eligible for Evusheld (I entirely understand that it needs to be given to a circumscribed set of people who meet certain criteria - broadly probably immunocompromised/immunosuppressed who produce no or low antibodies to vaccine jabs). Of course if we catch Covid and take a long time to clear it then we run the risk of creating new variants that way so you’d think they would want to prevent us getting Covid in the first place by using Evusheld!!

Anyway lots of pressure being put on the Govt, DHSC, UKHSA etc to get their act together on Evusheld so let’s hope they do.

@CaroleCW interesting your spot of the new words used by Maggie Throup.

I wonder what they actually mean in reality.

I have read what you mention regarding the immunosuppressed becoming Petri dishes for new variants during recovery from covid. I belive the FDA recomend extra monitoring.

However not really clear on how Evusheld would in itself contribute to originating a new variant unless of course they mean the more who survive the bigger the chance of a viral mutation during recovery. So better let us die. Im also a cynic!

Why does this just apply to Evusheld?

However its meant to prevent us getting Covid as you say so surely fewer of us would need to recover than existing regime where all are simply recovering.

As far as i am aware vaccine response can not be accuratly measured with serology testing, hence we are not all tested unless on a trial I maybe @BCUK_SupportTeam can expand further?

Perhaps @Adrian may shed some light on what these additional words may mean?

Having read a bit more I think the concern is that if Evusheld is overused, then the current Covid variant may become resistant to it and transform to become a new variant version which Evusheld might not work against (like overused antibiotics create resistance).

But yes i am generally cynical too, just feels the Govt has been dragging its heels for too long on rolling out Evusheld so I do tend to mistrust their silence/rationale, especially when some countries like the US have been issuing it for over 4 months now.

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