Page last updated on 12th April 2022
The NHS is offering new Covid-19 treatments to help protect vulnerable people with coronavirus, including those who are being treated for cancer or have a weakened immune system.
The following treatments are available: sotrovimab (brand name Xevudy), nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid), molnupiravir (brand name Lagevrio), and remdesivir (brand name Veklury).
Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody. Nirmatrelvir, ritonavir, remdesivir and molnupiravir are antiviral medicines. Antivirals are used to treat individuals infected with Covid-19 or people who have been exposed to the virus to stop them becoming ill. They work by stopping the virus developing and multiplying within an infected person.
These treatments can help some people manage their Covid-19 symptoms and lower the risk of serious illness. They will be offered on the NHS and through a new study to people with Covid-19 who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.
Who can access these Covid treatments from the NHS?
People aged 12 and over who have Covid-19 symptoms, have tested positive for the virus, and are at highest risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19, can access treatment directly from the NHS. This includes people who have:
- Certain types of cancer
- Had an organ, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recently
- Had chemotherapy grades B and C in the last 12 months
- Had radiotherapy in the last 6 months
- An NHS doctor or specialist will let you know if you are eligible for treatment, should you test positive for Covid-19.
How can I get Covid-19 treatment at home from the NHS?
If you're eligible for Covid-19 treatments, the NHS advises you to make sure you have some rapid lateral flow tests at home so you can test yourself quickly if you develop symptoms. You should be sent some rapid lateral flow tests to keep at home. If you do not have tests or need more tests, you can order free lateral flow test kits on GOV.UK or call 119 free of charge.
If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, take a lateral flow test as soon as possible and report your result on GOV.UK. If you can't report your result online, you can call 119.
If you're eligible for treatment and test positive for Covid-19, the NHS will contact you within 24 hours of your result. This will probably be by phone. They will give you more information and advise which treatment, if any, is right for you. If you have not been contacted within 24 hours of a positive test but you think you may be eligible for treatment, call your GP surgery or 111 - they can make an urgent referral if necessary.
The PANORAMIC study
The antiviral treatments Molnupiravir and Paxlovid are also available through a national study called ‘PANORAMIC’, run by the University of Oxford in collaboration with GP hubs. It is open to anyone in the UK provided they:
- Received a positive PCR or lateral flow test
- Feels unwell with symptoms of Covid-19 that started in the last five days
- Are aged 50 and over, or aged 18 or above with an underlying condition that puts them more at risk of severe Covid-19. This includes people who have a weakened immune system due to disease (e.g. cancer) or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy).
If eligible, people who receive a positive PCR test will be contacted by the study team or a local healthcare professional, for example their GP, to sign up to the trial. People can also sign up themselves through the study’s website.
Do you have any questions?
If you have any questions about the information above, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may not know the answer straight away, but we will do our best to find out. We will keep this page as up-to-date as possible with the latest news, information and advice about new treatments for ovarian cancer patients with Covid-19.