It was announced as a first and a "major breakthrough", according to the Minister of Health. Beyfortus, the very first preventive treatment against RSV, the virus that causes bronchiolitis, arrived in France on September 15, 2023, with a double promise: to be quickly accessible to all children under 6 months, and to protect them throughout the bronchiolitis season.
Two months later, this preventive treatment based on a single injection of antibodies, available in two forms, 50 mg and 100 mg, has not yet caused the hoped-for revolution. And yet, the French rushed to it!
'Heterogeneous results' and 'uncertainties'
The government, which had ordered 200,000 doses to last until the end of the winter, quickly had to reserve it only for maternity wards, and procured an additional 50,000 doses, 30,000 for maternity wards and 20,000 to cover unfulfilled orders in pharmacies in September.
"We will contact pharmacists again to confirm the number of doses they have not been able to dispense in order to give them to them in early December," a Sanofi spokesperson said.
Read alsoBronchiolitis: after the lack of doses, the vagueness of the effectiveness of the preventive treatment Beyfortus?
Is the treatment not very accessible, but is it at least effective? It will be necessary to wait until mid-December for the first "real-life" results to be published. They are eagerly awaited, because while the effectiveness of treatment against infections in general appeared clearly in clinical trials, the effectiveness against severe forms, and therefore hospitalizations of toddlers, was more unclear.
The French National Authority for Health (HAS), the body responsible for evaluating a new treatment, spoke of "heterogeneous results that reflect uncertainties on this criterion of major clinical interest".