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New advisory group to provide interim support on use of medicines for COVID-19

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Advice & Support Group (CTAG), aiming to support the evidence-based use of medicines in relation to COVID-19, has been endorsed by the Society and the British Infection Association.

A subcommittee of the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) Joint Speciality Committee (JSC) for Infectious Disease, CTAG will work closely with the JSC for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, which is jointly supported by the Society. CTAG was established by specialists in clinical pharmacology, infectious disease and other specialties with an interest in the therapeutics of COVID-19 working through Drugs and Therapeutics Committees and Area Prescribing Committees to provide frontline advice and support in the management of COVID-19 whilst national guidelines evolve. 

CTAG is the parent group for two key subgroups –  Antivirals and Immunomodulatory  - which both have a specialist membership from UK NHS providers. Each subgroup will act as a specialist panel for discussion and consensus on medicines to be used for patients with COVID-19 both within and outside of a clinical trial, whilst taking account of advice from key national stakeholders.

Dr Reecha Sofat, clinical pharmacologist and CTAG Chair said:

At the start of the pandemic it was a matter of ensuring that a general message of standard of care is best rather than  using drugs ‘off label’ (for an indication other than the one they were licenced for) where the outcomes are unknown - in line with advice from the Chief Medical Officer. CTAG has evolved into a channel through which emerging evidence about the safety and effectiveness of potential treatments for COVID-19 can be made available to front line clinicians in all hospitals - the group has developed interim guidance for antivirals and immunomodulators. The aim is to promote recruitment to trials rather than off-label use.

A wide range of organisations have come together to support and work with CTAG, including more than 20 trusts, health boards, universities and other organisations.

CTAG will provide a bridge to specific advice from relevant national health technology assessment bodies such as National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the Scottish Medicines Consortium, the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group and other national organisations.

You will find lots more information and many useful links on the CTAG website

Read Dr Reecha Sofat’s blog post on CTAG in full here

Published: 17 Jun 2020 in Society news