Zografos LJ, Andrews E, Wolin DL, Calingaert B, Davenport E, Hollis KA, Djokanovic N, Racanelli VS, Petraro P, Vassilev ZP. Evaluation of physician knowledge of the key safety information for aflibercept in Canada: evaluation of risk-minimization measures. Pharmaceut Med. 2019 Jun;33(3):235-46. doi: 10.1007/s40290-019-00278-z

BACKGROUND: As part of the risk-management plan (RMP) for aflibercept, materials have been developed to educate physicians in Canada on the key safety information and safe use for aflibercept.

The objectives of this study were to assess whether physicians in Canada received and reviewed the aflibercept educational materials (i.e. vial preparation instruction card, intravitreal injection procedure video, and product monograph) and to evaluate their knowledge of key safety information.

Retinal specialists and ophthalmologists who prescribe and/or administer aflibercept were recruited to complete a survey. Physicians could complete and return a paper questionnaire by mail or complete the questionnaire online via a study website.

Of the 308 physicians invited to participate in the survey, 95 (31%) completed the questionnaire. Nearly all physicians (98%) reported receiving at least one of the educational materials. The proportion of correct responses to individual questions on storage and preparation of aflibercept ranged from 54 to 98%. Physician knowledge was high on the recommended dose of aflibercept (91%), dose preparation (91–96% on individual items), and dosing guidelines (75–95% on individual items). Most physicians knew the contraindications for aflibercept (89%) and that aflibercept should not be used in pregnancy unless clearly indicated by medical need in which benefits outweigh risks (60%); 21% responded more conservatively that aflibercept should never be used in pregnancy. Knowledge was high for most questions about injection procedures (91–99% on individual items); however, fewer physicians (24%) correctly reported that the eye should be covered with a sterile drape. Knowledge was high for possible side effects (89–100% on individual items) and actions to take in relation to the potential for increased intraocular pressure (86–93% on individual items).

CONCLUSION: Nearly all physicians (98%) reported having received the product monograph, and most (82%) reported having received the vial preparation instruction card; nearly half (46%) reported having received the intravitreal injection procedure video. Physicians’ knowledge of the most important topics was high. Knowledge varied for topics that are less frequently encountered (e.g. use in women of childbearing potential) and for recommendations that are not standard medical practice in Canada (e.g. use of sterile drape).

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