A clinical pharmacy specialist discusses what’s needed to get the REMS program set up and touches on reimbursement considerations for the administration of belantamab mafodotin in patients with multiple myeloma.
Kathryn Maples, PharmD, BCOP, a clinical pharmacy specialist in Multiple Myeloma at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia, reviewed what clinicians need to consider regarding belantamab mafodotin (Blen-rep; bela-maf) for patients with multiple myeloma who have received 4 prior therapies.
In a recent “Product Profile” from the May issue of the journal ONCOLOGY®, Maples reviewed setting up the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program and reimbursement considerations clinicians should consider if they want to employ this therapy in their patients.
The biggest barrier is the REMS program. While it exists for a necessary reason and it’s very doable, it is a cumbersome thing to get started, just to make sure that everything is in alignment. Our biggest barrier was making sure that we had everything set up at the infusion center before we could even get the drug delivered. If your institution, like mine, has multiple infusion sites, they may each have to be registered individually, so only 1 of ours is currently registered. Something for patients to keep in mind is that even if they’re used to getting treatment at one place, they may have to get it somewhere else just based upon the requirements there.
In terms of reimbursement, the patients who we are putting on this medication have more than those 4 prior therapies, so just being mindful of the type of patient who you’re initiating on this therapy will reduce any issues with getting reimbursement.
[You should] think about getting the eye appointment scheduled [for the patient]. This is not a therapy that you can decide on today and start treatment tomorrow. It will take at least a week or so to get set up, so that’s something for the patient and the team to keep in mind.