Background and importance After the arrival of the pandemic, visits to the hospital were considerably reduced. This, added to the quarantine that patients could suffer, led to the discontinuation or delay of scheduled administrations in outpatients treated with biological drugs (BD).
Aim and objectives To evaluate the impact of the pandemic on patients treated with BD and enzyme replacement therapies (ERT).
Material and methods A retrospective observational study in which the incidents detected during 13 months (March 2020–April 2021) in the administration of vedolizumab, infliximab, ustekinumab, ocrelizumab, natalizumab, patisiran, dupilumab, abatacept, belimumab, reslizsaumab, sebelipab, agalsidase alpha and alpha-1 antitrypsin were collected.
All outpatient therapies with BD and ERT during the study period were included. The patients’ clinical data in the electronic medical records and the data of preparation of the treatments of the Farmis-Oncofarm were analysed. Finally, the reason for the incidence in the administration of the treatment was analysed.
Results Incidences were registered in 178 patients in active treatment with BD and ERT and 530 administrations during the periods March–April 2020 and January–February 2021. 40 (7.5%) incidences were detected in 35 (19.7%) patients in whom there was delay or discontinuation of treatment. Delay in the administration of treatment was observed in 27 patients with an average delay of 3 weeks; 2 patients died from complications of their disease; and the remaining 6 patients discontinued treatment. Among the reasons for the delay or discontinuation in the treatments we observe the following: 5 patients could not receive the treatment due to active infection with COVID-19 and 2 patients because they had been in contact with another infected person; 17 did not come for fear of contagion; and the remainder did not do so for personal reasons. A worsening of the clinical situation associated with the disease was found in 10 patients during the delay or discontinuation of treatment.
Conclusion and relevance The global pandemic has had an impact on outpatients with chronic diseases who need intravenous treatment, and a delay or discontinuation of BD and ERT in 7.5 % of scheduled administrations has been observed, the main causes being fear of contagion and personal motives.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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