Key messages

  • SCIg is a preparation of human immunoglobulin for subcutaneous use (an injection in which the needle is inserted just under the skin).
  • Under the national blood arrangements SCIg is only approved for specific patients. Health services participating in the national SCIg programs are required to meet specified governance arrangements.
  • In 2018-19, the SCIg Access Program will provide Victorian public health services, $680 per patient per quarter.

SCIg is a prescription only medication that may be used in an admitted patient or outpatient setting1.

Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) is a solution of human plasma proteins and in particular IgG antibodies with a broad spectrum of antibody activity. SCIg is prepared from large pools of human plasma and contains the typical IgG antibodies found in the normal population2.

Approved access conditions for SCIg

SCIg is only approved for patients with a medical condition3:

  1. Where there is support for use cited in the Criteria for the clinical use of immunoglobulin in Australia, namely:
    • primary immunodeficiency diseases with antibody deficiency
    • specific antibody deficiency
    • acquired hypogammaglobulinaemia secondary to haematological malignancies (chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other relevant malignancies, and post-haemopoietic stem cell transplantation)
    • secondary hypogammaglobulinaemia (including iatrogenic immunodeficiency)
  2. Being treated by a clinical specialist within a hospital based SCIg program (see below), where the hospital provides access to all resources and takes full accountability for the management and use of the SCIg product, at no additional cost to patients, and
  3. Following a patient-specific SCIg request submitted to, and authorised by, the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (Lifeblood).

Funding arrangements

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has outlined it's commitment to funding SCIg in the department's policy and funding guidelines 2019-20.

The department will fund public health services $680 per quarter for each patient supplied with SCIg. With $600 provided to the 'Administering Facility' and $80 to the 'Dispensing Facility, as identified by BloodSTAR data.

The funding covers the ongoing costs associated with SCIg service delivery including-patient training, staffing costs, consumables, pumps and dispensing fees.

Additional resources

The Blood Matters team has a SCIg project nurse to assist in the state-wide rollout of SCIg in Victoria.

The key objective of the SCIg project nurse is to support health services to develop local policies and guidelines aligned with the National Blood Authority guidelines and the Criteria for immunoglobulin use in Australia.

More information on SCIg can be found at the National Blood Authority website3.

References

Hospital Circular 10/2013

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

National Blood Authority

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SCIg program tools and resources

Information, tools, links and resources to support Australia’s National Blood Authority national SCIg program.

Visit tools and resources
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SCIg Community of Practice contacts

Contact details of the nurses support hospital based SCIg programs.

View contacts