The European Association for Haemophilia and Allied Disorders and the European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC) published today a joint statement calling on the importance of home delivery of treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic so that patients avoid frequent hospital visits. The statement also highlights the importance of preparedness for any disruptions in the treatment supply chain.
EAHAD and EHC are committed to the representation and support of the rare bleeding disorders community, the improvement of patients’ lives, and the further development of scientific and medical research.
With COVID-19 deeply affecting Europe and its citizens, EHC and EAHAD consider essential that both patients and healthcare professionals remain well-informed during these uncertain times. The advancement and dissemination of knowledge can be our best weapon in the fight against this once in a lifetime disaster. Therefore, EHC and EAHAD are adopting this joint statement on home delivery of treatment products, and supply chain management, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patients with rare bleeding disorders (RBD) require frequent injections of treatment products like clotting factor concentrates and/or other therapies. Many RBD patients are vulnerable populations (e.g. immune-compromised, etc.).
In ordinary times RBD patients would frequently visit their hospitals or pharmacies to collect their therapies. In COVID-19 times they should stay at home for safety reasons as per national guidelines.
In many – but not all – countries, home delivery of treatment products and home self-treatment by patients is a well-established standard, as per the European Principles of Haemophilia Care.
Under these circumstances, EHC and EAHAD urgently call on all governments to implement this Principle nationally.
The delivery of treatment products can be organised by treatment centres (hospitals) or delivery companies. Deliveries should ensure an adequate supply of treatment products to achieve safe patient care, continuity of treatment, and avoidance of death or severe complications requiring healthcare services.
Additionally, now more than ever, it is prudent to be prepared for potential interruptions in treatment product supply chains; therefore, the EHC and EAHAD jointly recommend implementation of the Council of Europe’s Haemophilia Principles 1 and 16 enabling patient representatives and clinicians to partner within their national systems on supply chain monitoring and management.
The EHC and EAHAD fully respect that each country’s healthcare system is organised differently. However, now more than ever, we must act in unity and share best practice to protect the lives of patients, national populations and support national healthcare systems.
You can access the Joint Statement as a PDF here