Megan May, PharmD, BCOP, and Daneng Li, MD, discuss the availability of home-injection programs for patients with NETs, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Daneng Li, MD: In the era of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], a lot of our patients might not want to come to the clinic to get their injections. Megan, I have heard that there are various home-injection programs that patients might be really thinking about during this time. Can you walk us through these home-injection programs in terms of how they work? Are there any difficulties getting them set up for patients? What are potential pitfalls or complications with these programs?
Megan May, PharmD, BCOP: You are exactly right, especially with the pandemic going on: These are great programs that we can offer our patients. Octreotide-LAR [long-acting release] and the lanreotide both have these home-injection programs that they’re offering patients. They have opened the eligibility criteria, so more patients can be included, especially during the pandemic. The octreotide-LAR has a program called the mobile administration program. That is so the patient can receive the injection of the long-acting octreotide wherever it is convenient to them. Usually that location is their house, and the manufacturer allows this to be available to patients for no additional charge for the administration of the medication.
What happens is the octreotide is shipped directly to the patient’s home, and then they send a health care professional to administer the injection to our patients. One thing we do need to remind our patients of the first time they receive a dose is that it does need to be within the health care setting, and then after that they can administer it at home.
For us, as health care providers, this is something we can do to help our patients, especially now. We can tell them about these programs and then also help them enroll in these programs and then get the prescription sent to a manufacturer to start the whole process.
Daneng Li, MD: Wonderful. During the pandemic, home-injection programs are certainly very welcome for the patients so that they can potentially avoid coming to the clinic and be able to really do this on their own in their own home. As long as they can do it safely, we certainly welcome that, and it can potentially cause less anxiety for these patients during these unprecedented times.