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NICE updates guidance for COVID-19 therapeutics

NICE has updated its advice on two therapeutics for managing COVID-19 – remdesivir and colchicine.

These updated recommendations form part of the managing COVID-19 guideline, which was first published in March. This guideline is a ‘living guideline’ which can be continuously updated to incorporate the latest evidence and keep abreast of new developments.

NICE has published an update to the conditional recommendation for using remdesivir in COVID-19 patients in hospital settings. It now advises that remdesivir should be considered for hospitalised patients, aged 12 years and over or weighing 40 kilograms or more, who are on low-flow supplemental oxygen (delivered through a face mask or nasal canula).

Previously, it advised that remdesivir should be considered for patients on supplemental oxygen but not on invasive mechanical ventilation. The update reflects a slightly different approach to its data analysis based on evidence that the use of remdesivir is more beneficial earlier in the course of disease. The length of treatment with remdesivir remains unchanged at five days.  

While NICE does not recommend colchicine for treating COVID-19 patients in hospital, it recommends that further research should be carried out in community settings to see whether it might yet be an effective treatment.

At this stage, the expert committee concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend colchicine as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. This is the first time NICE has published advice on the use of colchicine to treat COVID-19.

Dr. Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: “This updated guidance will help ensure healthcare staff treating COVID-19 patients have access to the latest evidence on what is and what isn’t effective as part of the ongoing efforts to understand how best to treat this disease.

“NICE is continuing to monitor and assess new evidence on potential and established COVID-19 therapeutics and will update the ‘living’ managing COVID-19 guideline when appropriate. This approach reflects both our flexible and rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our move towards a more dynamic approach to producing guideline recommendations as outlined in our five-year strategy.

“NICE will continue to update users when new advice on COVID-19 is published, but we also encourage users to check the NICE website to make sure they do not miss any updates.”

The managing COVID-19 guideline was developed and published in the MAGICapp platform, a global system that promotes evidence sharing from different guideline creators, therefore increasing the speed at which guidance can be developed and the ease with which it can be updated.

The updated therapeutic recommendations can be read here.

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Upcoming Events

EBME Expo 2021

Marshall Arena, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes Stadium Way West Milton Keynes MK1 1ST
30th June - 1st July

Central Sterilising Club 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YR
4th - 5th April

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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