A Comprehensive Review of COVID-19 Treatments: Efficacy and Economic Evaluation

By Danélia Botes

October 20, 2023

COVID-19 Treatments: A Race Against Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an urgent need for effective treatments of this unknown disease. As of January 2023, there have been over 620 million confirmed cases of the virus and more than six-and-a-half million deaths worldwide. In the UK alone, the numbers are staggering with more than 24 million cases and nearly 200,000 deaths during this time.

Various treatments have been developed and used to help people who have been hospitalised due to COVID-19 or are at high risk of needing hospitalisation. These include casirivimab/imdevimab, tocilizumab, remdesivir, baricitinib, and baricitinib with remdesivir for hospitalised patients. For patients at high risk, treatments include casirivimab/imdevimab, molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, remdesivir, sotrovimab, and tixagevimab/cilgavimab.

Evaluating Clinical Efficacy and Cost-effectiveness

The objective of this study was to summarise the current knowledge related to the clinical efficacy of these interventions and to conduct an economic evaluation that estimates the cost-effectiveness of each intervention against standard of care (SoC).

Despite the urgency, these treatments have not received positive guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) before being routinely used. As the pandemic subsides, there is more need for a formal evaluation of these treatments.

The results of the study, however, should be treated with caution due to changes in the conditions when the pivotal studies were undertaken and the current conditions in terms of the SoC, the percentage of people who have been vaccinated and a change in the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant.

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