ATTENTION ALL PATIENTS ON IG THERAPY:
Canadian Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin (SCIg) prescribers were notified on Saturday 04-May-2019, at a meeting in Toronto, attended by representatives from Takeda Canada, & Canadian Blood Services (CBS), of an imminent shortage of the Cuvitru brand of SCIg in Canada.
This shortage will affect predominantly patients with Immunodeficiency, and patients with Neuromuscular Disease. We were told this shortage would not interfere with the treatment of patients currently on SCIg.
As a result of the Cuvitru shortage, a working group consisting of Canadian neurologists, hematologists, immunologists and patient groups met by teleconference on 09-May-2019 to recommend short-term management to mitigate the risk to patients and their access to SCIg. The following strategies to manage SCIg shortfall were recommended:
Patients currently receiving SCIG (Cuvitru)
Currently treated patients should continue with NO changes to their current access to SCIg. Patients will be given no more than a 3 months’ supply. However, in some regions across the country, patients will be given only 1 months’ supply.
Given the supply limitation of larger vial sizes (4g and 8g), we recommend this supply should be preferentially available to neurology patients who require higher dosage.
Patients should expect vial size substitutions in certain parts of the country.
Patients currently receiving SCIG (alternate)
Patients currently receiving Gamunex, Cutaquig or Hizentra through the named patient program will continue on these products without disruption.
Patients currently receiving IVIG
Patients currently receiving IVIG will continue without disruption.
Patients waiting for SCIG
Patients currently in the queue to start SCIG can expect a delay.
Takeda stated that they hope to have sufficient product by “late-summer/early fall”, most likely Sep-2019. CBS has assured us that they are working to find alternate sources of SCIg.
Hema Quebec has an alternative supplier and is not affected.
A Customer Letter from CBS and an explanatory letter from Takeda Canada can be found on the CBS website (https://blood.ca/en/hospital-services/customer-service/communications/customer-letters
If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment or how these changes affect you, please contact your healthcare provider.
We will continue to update you throughout this process, and work with Canadian Blood Services and industry, for the patient, ensuring that patient care is the primary concern to all involved.