On 17 March 2022, the National Blood Authority (NBA) engaged HealthConsult to develop a Report about uptake of subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg). The final report "Evaluate and Develop Options to Improve Access to Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin (SCIg)" is now available on the NBA website https://blood.gov.au/Ig-program and the direct link to the report is Final Report (nba.gov.au).
Options recommended for implementation include :
- Option 1: Establish position statement(s) on when SCIg should be considered for initiation of Ig treatment.
- Option 3: Develop a national statement on the benefits of SCIg to improve education and awareness
Note - The ASCIA website includes a SCIg Position Statement and other information about the benefits of SCIg.
Eligibility for patient access to publicly funded Immunoglobulin (Ig) is administered by the NBA through the National Immunoglobulin Governance Program (‘the Program’). The supply of Ig products such as Intravenous Ig (IVIg) and SCIg is managed by the NBA and funded under the National Blood Agreement, at no cost to patients. Widespread evidence exists of SCIg supporting patient-centred quality of life benefits as well as cost savings for health systems compared to IVIg.
A survey of patients and carers conducted for this project showed that 95.2% of patients who have tried SCIg and IVIg believe that SCIg is the better treatment option. However, SCIg usage in Australia (as a proportion of eligible Ig patients) is around 16%, compared to around 25% in countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Italy.Therefore, opportunities exist to optimise the uptake of SCIg in Australia and increase access for patients, health services and the health system to SCIg (where appropriate).
The scope of HealthConsult’s engagement included:
- Identifying barriers to the optimal uptake of SCIg because of the current service model.
- Developing options to optimise access to SCIg. The identified options aim to develop a service model that is adaptable to changing conditions in a clinical setting and promotes sustainability in the National SCIg Program to support eligible patients.