hemo-logoOTTAWA, February 3, 2016 – Canadian Blood Services (CBS) announced that extended half-life factor concentrates, Eloctate® to treat hemophilia A, and Alprolix™ to treat hemophilia B, have been approved for reimbursement and are now distributed through CBS in all provinces and territories (except Quebec). Both products are manufactured by Biogen.

The decision comes 22 months after approval of Alprolix by Health Canada in March 2014 and 16 months after approval of Eloctate in August 2014 and lengthy reviews involving the National Advisory Committee on Blood and Blood Products (NAC) and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH).

“We are really happy to finally see the introduction of Eloctate and Alprolix for Canadian patients,” said CHS President, Craig Upshaw. “They represent the first in a new class of extended half-life factor concentrates.”

According to access criteria developed by NAC, Eloctate and Alprolix will be available to patients with moderate or severe hemophilia A or B, 12 years of age and older, who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • are currently on a prophylaxis regimen;
  • have frequent bleeding episodes while on their current on-demand or prophylactic regimens;
  • have venous access difficulties and could avoid use of a central venous access device with these potentially lower-frequency products;
  • have shorter than normal half-lives;
  • could improve adherence to a prophylactic regimen because of the lower frequency of infusions needed; or
  • would experience improved quality of life.

Based on physician recommendation, other access criteria could be considered.
For the original list of access criteria, see the NAC website at www.nacblood.ca and select “Criteria for Use – Alprolix and Eloctate.”

Meanwhile, the Quebec access criteria put in place in April 2015 remain much more restrictive. They include:

  1. shorter than normal half-life;
  2. venous access difficulties; and
  3. other justifiable reasons, as determined by the treating physician and subsequently approved.

The CHS and its Quebec Chapter are working to broaden criteria #3 to include some of the criteria identified by NAC for the rest of Canada.