Zografos LJ, Andrews E, Wolin DL, Calingaert B, Davenport EK, Hollis KA, Schmidt-Ott UM, Petraro P, Vassilev ZP. Physician and patient knowledge of safety and safe use information for aflibercept in Europe: evaluation of risk-minimization measures. Pharmaceut Med. 2019 Jun;33(3):219-33. doi: 10.1007/s40290-019-00279-y.


BACKGROUND: As part of the risk-management plan for aflibercept in the European Union, materials have been developed to educate physicians and patients in Europe on the safe use of aflibercept.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to measure receipt of the educational materials and to evaluate understanding of key safety information for aflibercept.

METHODS: An observational cross-sectional study among physicians and patients with recent aflibercept experience in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK was conducted. Eligible physicians and patients completed a brief questionnaire regarding their knowledge of key safety information.

RESULTS: Among the 8424 physicians invited to participate in the survey, 428 physicians were eligible, completed the questionnaire, and were included in this analysis. Most physicians reported having received the aflibercept summary of product characteristics (87%) and prescriber guide (77%); approximately half reported receiving the injection procedure video (50%) and patient booklet (54%). Physician knowledge of the most important topics (i.e., side effects; preparing patients for aflibercept injection) was high. Physician knowledge of dosing was high for neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration and lower for less commonly prescribed indications. Most physicians knew the contraindications for aflibercept and recognized possible side effects. Among the 874 patients approached about participation in the study, 773 patients were eligible, completed the questionnaire, and were included in the analysis. Patients’ reported receipt was relatively low for the aflibercept patient booklet (38%) and the audio CD (23%). Patient knowledge of the health conditions to discuss with a doctor prior to injection was generally high; knowledge about possible side effects varied. Most patients knew that they should speak to a physician immediately if they experienced a possible side effect of aflibercept.

CONCLUSION: Most physicians reported receiving the summary of product characteristics, prescriber guide, and patient booklet; half reported receiving the intravitreal injection procedure video. Patient receipt of the educational material was variable. Observed patterns of knowledge indicated the greatest knowledge of the most important risks emphasized in the educational material and lower knowledge of more complex or less salient aspects of safe use.

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