Experiences to date with the logistical management of long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine

Kamile Johnson, Mark T Sawkin


The logistical management of an injectable therapy for the treatment of HIV can be expensive, time consuming, frustrating and riddled with barriers. In this Commentary, we describe our experiences to date with acquiring, storing, handling, administering and billing for long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine through four scenarios, each of which have presented their own unique obstacles and learning curves. At the time of writing, we have successfully transitioned four patients from the CUSTOMIZE trial to long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine. In doing so, we encountered a variety of barriers to acquiring, handling and administering the medication for both insured and uninsured patients; it is expensive, on a limited number of insurance formularies, and often requires a prior authorization from the provider. Cold-chain handling of the injectable therapy, along with individual patient characteristics, present barriers to management and administration of this therapy. Whilst a seemingly very attractive option for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults, long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine present a variety of challenges to pharmacists, providers and clinic staff on how to obtain it for and administer it to the patient. We plan to continue documenting our experiences, progress and successes, or lack thereof, in order to fine-tune our process and share with others.

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Johnson K, Sawkin MT. Experiences to date with the logistical management of long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine. Drugs Context. 2022;11:2021-9-2. https://doi.org/10.7573/dic.2021-9-2

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