By IG Living Magazine
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) product in 1981, IG has experienced a sustained record of near-continuous demand growth. More than 35 years after they were first introduced, demand for IG products continues to grow more than 8 percent a year. In 2018, as it has over each of the past several years, demand for IG products grew by more than 7 million grams. Collectively, IVIG and subcutaneous IG (SCIG) product shipments last year approached 88 million grams.
Even though there are currently 15 IG products available today, this demand growth nevertheless poses two special challenges for IG manufacturers: 1) they must forecast and invest in plasma collection facilities to ensure sufficient additional donor plasma is available to process into IG products, and 2) they must plan, invest and provide adequate lead time to construct and secure regulatory approval to operate new or expanded fractionation (how plasma is manufactured into IG products) and related IG production facilities.
IG manufacturers are making every effort to address these issues. In fact, every major plasma fractionator is investing in new production capacity, and manufacturers are producing IG products at top capacity. In addition, some new products are coming to market this year, and one that was removed from the market is being reintroduced. It is hoped these efforts will help to better meet demand in the near future.
If you are a patient who has been told future treatments with your brand of IG will not be possible, here are some steps you can take:
- If being treated in the home, ask if there is another brand to which you can switch. If no product is available, talk to your ordering physician about another homecare provider.
- If being treated in a physician's office, ask if there is another brand to which you can switch. If no product is available, look for other sites of care. Specifically, check with the hospital where your ordering physician has privileges. Or, check with a homecare provider.
- If being treated in a hospital outpatient infusion center, go back to your ordering physician and ask about another outpatient center. Or, check with a homecare provider.
- Consider exploring the subcutaneous route of infusion if it makes sense for your condition.
Patients can also contact our patient advocate Abbie Cornett firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.