Supporting best use of precious immunoglobulin products

NPS MedicineWise and the National Blood Authority

A new grant for NPS MedicineWise and a consortium of health organisations will fund an increase in national efforts to improve health outcomes for patients prescribed immunoglobulin products. The grant was awarded under the Australian Government’s Value in Prescribing program – Immunoglobulin Products stream.

The Value in Prescribing program will see NPS MedicineWise working with the National Blood Authority and a range of stakeholders to develop and deliver educational resources, tools and interventions to support clinicians in optimising the use of precious immunoglobulin products, as well as to educate consumers on the role of these products.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Adjunct Associate Professor Steve Morris says the project will increase awareness among specialists about best-practice prescribing of immunoglobulins while also improving patient knowledge through better access to information about how to manage their health conditions.

“Immunoglobulin products provide critical therapy for people with immunodeficiencies and immune type neurological conditions, but with demand growing and limited supply, these products need to be used appropriately,” said Mr Morris.

“This project supports a viable and sustainable immunoglobulin prescribing system by promoting appropriate use of these valuable resources.

“Using a co-design process with the National Blood Authority and relevant clinical and consumer stakeholders, this project will deliver and evaluate a national, multi-faceted, evidence-based program to support best-practice prescribing of immunoglobulins.

“The project will leverage the proven expertise of NPS MedicineWise to deliver and evaluate behaviour change programs at a national level with the expertise of key stakeholders including ASCIA and SHPA,” he said.

National Blood Authority Chief Executive Mr John Cahill welcomed the initiative, saying “The National Blood Authority is very pleased to be partnering with NPS MedicineWise to improve the knowledge of clinicians and consumers about this precious resource. This will build on the excellent work undertaken by the Authority to date through its award-winning Immunoglobulin Governance Program, the development of clinical criteria to ensure the most appropriate access arrangements are in place for patients and through its nationally implemented BloodSTAR authorising system. The expertise in clinical education brought by NPS MedicineWise will be a welcome addition to these initiatives.

“The substantial annual growth in immunoglobulin use, both in Australia and internationally, together with the relatively high cost of immunoglobulin products and the potential for supply shortages mean that good governance, education and quality improvement are essential to maintain a focus on ensuring that use remains consistent, appropriate and evidence-based,” Mr Cahill said.

The immunoglobulin consortium consists of:

• Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

• NPS MedicineWise

• Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)

The project may yet expand to include other consortium partners and is being managed in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Health and the National Blood Authority.

The immunoglobulins grant is valued at $2.4 million over three years until June 2022.

/Public Release.