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When it comes to helping to protect high-risk children from severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease, communication between healthcare stakeholders and parents and caregivers is essential. Here are some suggestions for effectively communicating with healthcare providers (HCPs) and parents and caregivers:

Download a copy of these helpful suggestions for effectively communicating with
HCPs and parents and caregivers.

Establishing HCP

Try to identify a single point of contact in each HCP office as well as a secondary contact if the primary is ever out of the office
Consider keeping a file with all Synagis patient information in one place
Have action items and requests
from Synagis coordinators circled
or clearly outlined on the Synagis patient form/list
Have up-to-date status and follow-up executed by end of day Friday so that planning for the following week can take place
Know the business days/hours of the HCP office and plan shipments according to their schedule, especially around holidays
Share with HCPs that patient eligibility for various benefit options should be considered carefully
Carefully coordinate critical monthly injections in November, December, and January
When appropriate, remind HCPs that some high-risk babies may need Synagis for a second season
Consider sending a letter to HCPs to remind them that they may have patients who are eligible to receive Synagis for a second season or send a general letter at the end of RSV season to alert HCPs about the second season

Communicating With
Parents and Caregivers

Be sure that parents and caregivers of high-risk babies understand what Synagis is and how it may help protect their children from severe RSV disease
Explain that Synagis is not a vaccine, but rather an FDA-approved prescription injection of antibodies that is given monthly to help protect certain high-risk children from severe RSV disease throughout the RSV season
Each dose of Synagis provides protection for about 28–30 days
If a high-risk baby is prescribed Synagis, he or she will need to continue receiving monthly shots throughout RSV season
A high-risk baby needs to keep getting Synagis for as long
as it is prescribed
Be sure that parents and caregivers are aware of the Cradle with CareSM program and how it can support compliance and education about severe RSV disease and the use of Synagis
Remind parents and caregivers to talk to their child’s doctor about what’s right for their child
Be sure to outline the next steps required to receive Synagis in any communications with a parent or caregiver. Include relevant contact information for a parent or caregiver to follow-up and confirm next steps
Inform parents and caregivers about available assistance programs, including the Synagis Copay Savings program. If a patient is without prescription coverage or can’t afford their medication, AstraZeneca may be able to help

Remember to assess the needs of each practice and customer on an individual basis.

Important Safety Information

Synagis® (palivizumab) is indicated for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in children at high risk of RSV disease. Safety and efficacy were established in children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), infants with a history of premature birth (≤35 weeks gestational age), and children with hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease (CHD). The recommended dose of Synagis is 15 mg/kg of body weight given monthly by intramuscular injection. The first dose of Synagis should be administered prior to commencement of the RSV season and the remaining doses should be administered monthly throughout the RSV season. Children who develop an RSV infection should continue to receive monthly doses throughout the RSV season.

The efficacy of Synagis at doses less than 15 mg/kg, or of dosing less frequently than monthly throughout the RSV season, has not been established.

Synagis is contraindicated in children who have had a previous significant hypersensitivity reaction to Synagis. Cases of anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock, including fatal cases, have been reported following initial exposure or re-exposure to Synagis. Other acute hypersensitivity reactions, which may be severe, have also been reported on initial exposure or re-exposure to Synagis. The relationship between these reactions and the development of antibodies to Synagis is unknown. If a significant hypersensitivity reaction occurs with Synagis, its use should be permanently discontinued. If a mild hypersensitivity reaction occurs, clinical judgment should be used regarding cautious readministration of Synagis. As with any intramuscular injection, Synagis should be given with caution to children with thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder. Palivizumab may interfere with immunological-based RSV diagnostic tests, such as some antigen detection-based assays.

Adverse reactions occurring greater than or equal to 10% and at least 1% more frequently than placebo are fever and rash. In post-marketing reports, cases of severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <50,000/microliter) and injection site reactions have been reported.

Please see full Prescribing Information for Synagis, including Patient Information.