October 18, 2021, Ottawa – Canadian Blood Services (CBS) announced in its October 18 Customer Letter that the request form for emicizumab (Hemlibra) is now available. This is the form used by physicians to request Hemlibra for eligible patients via a Named Patient Contract.
In September, the Provinces and Territories (except Quebec) expanded access to Hemlibra to all those with severe hemophilia A (baseline FVIII level less than 1%) who require routine prophylaxis.
The transition from FVIII to Hemlibra will be gradual over the next several months for several reasons:
- CBS could take up to 30 days to review and approve requests;
- Hemophilia treatment centres (HTCs) will prioritize those most in need of switching immediately and make these requests first;
- HTCs are limited in the rate at which patients can be called in to clinic, and trained in administration and utilisation of this new and very different therapy, especially given COVID restricitions;
- Home inventories of FVIII will need to be managed to avoid wastage.
Patients/caregivers interested in making a transition from FVIII prophylaxis to Hemlibra should contact their treatment centre.
The CHS is still waiting for news on when access to Hemlibra will begin in Quebec.
For more about Hemlibra, see www.hemophilia.ca/hemlibra-access.