Chartwell Pennsylvania, LP, a provider of home infusion, specialty pharmacy, and enteral nutrition, recently became the first provider to administer TEPEZZA (teprotumumab-trbw) in a home-infusion setting. Approved on January 21, 2020, TEPEZZA is the first and only FDA-approved medicine for the treatment of thyroid eye disease (TED), a rare and serious autoimmune disease. Home infusion therapy continues to ease the burden of care placed on hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
The first TEPEZZA home infusion therapy was administered on TMarch 24, 2020, at the patient’s residence. The medication is administered once every three weeks for a total of eight infusions.
A prescribing physician for multiple Chartwell teprotumumab-trbw patients, Jenny Yu, MD, Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for the Department of Ophthalmology, UPMC Eye Center, an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh, and a McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member, called the situation “the perfect storm” for many patients with TED. Dr. Yu, who also serves on the UPMC Orbital, Oculoplastic, and Aesthetic Surgery Service, cited not only the pandemic, but also the importance of timing in the patient’s treatment.
“The drug in treatment is time-sensitive, in terms of catching the patient in the inflammatory phase,” Dr. Yu said. “Of course, we also had COVID-19 to tend with. Home infusion limits the kind of exposure to infection that you would find in a hospital or outpatient setting. Younger patients without many other comorbidities are excellent candidates for the initial infusion in the home.”
“I see a lot of patients from other UPMC locations coming into Pittsburgh for a specialty evaluation,” Dr. Yu said. “To be able to bring the treatment options closer to the patient’s home or in their home—it just makes sense.”