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FAQs on New Antiviral Treatment

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Updated 20th April

Changes to accessing the Antiviral treatment

Previously, those that were eligible for the antiviral treatment were sent a confirmation letter and a priority PCR kit in the post. Now that PCR test are no longer in use, patients will receive a lateral flow testing kit as well as a new letter. You can see the letter here.

The original process will then remain the same:

  • As soon as you develop COVID symptoms, use the lateral flow test.
  • If the result is positive, wait to be contacted about treatment.
  • If after 24 hours you have had no contact, call your GP or 111.

The following letter has been sent to healthcare professionals to make them aware of this process.

Who is eligible for the treatment?

Due to the government ending testing for most people with Coronavirus this has changed the access to the tests. There are now only certain groups of individuals that can receive free lateral flow test kits.

How to get a lateral flow test

Check you are eligible to receive a lateral flow test on the GOV.uk website.

The official list of those eligible can be found in appendix 1 of the clinical commissioning policy published on 27 January 2022 and effective form 10 February 2022. See the full, published policy here.

If you are eligible:

Order your lateral flow tests via the GOV.uk website here. It does not ask for proof that you are eligible, just to confirm that you are. If you want further guidance on this, please check the following article.

Who do I speak to if I think I am eligible, but I have not been contacted?

If you do not receive letter, then you may still be eligible. You can follow the same process but will have to acquire the Lateral flow tests yourself. It is important that you only get the NHS lateral flow tests as privately sources tests will not be recognised in the system. You can get the tests using the process above. If you get a positive test then again, wait 24 hours to be contacted. After this time period you can then call either the GP or 111.

Receiving the treatment

There are two treatments available in different forms. The antivirals and the monoclonal antibody treatment.

The antiviral come in tablet form and the monoclonal antibodies is an infusion.

Those that receive the antivirals will either be asked to collect the treatment form one of the available centres or it will be delivered to their home.

Those that are having the monoclonal antibody treatment will need to go to the appropriate treatment centre and will receive the infusion. This is expected to take around half a day in total.

If I am not eligible is there another way of getting involved in the treatment?

There is currently a study run by oxford university called PANORAMIC. You can see the criteria for signing up to this study on their website. They are currently using the antiviral treatment (molnuporavir) in the study. There is a 50% chance of getting the treatment if you take part in the study.

What treatment is available?

  • Sotrovimab (monoclonal antibodies).
  • Sotrovimab is administered intravenously in a single infusion.
  • Molnuporavir (antiviral treatment).
  • Molnupiravir administered orally in capsules form every 12 hours for 5 days.

See this link to find out about coadministration of medications with these treatments.

Have more general question to do with COVID-19 and RA? Check out our COVID information page and latest updates page. Alternatively, follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.