The emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the lower-than-anticipated vaccination rates could lead to a greater use of pegfilgratim biosimilars in cancer settings, explained Kashyap Patel, MD, CEO of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associates.
The emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the lower-than-anticipated vaccination rates could lead to a greater use of pegfilgrastim biosimilars in cancer settings, explained Kashyap Patel, MD, CEO of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associates.
Do you anticipate pegfilgrastim utilization trends during the pandemic changing now that the Delta variant has emerged and is causing cases to rise, and if so, how?
I actually expect the trend to increase with the utilization of the biosimilar pegfilgrastim, primarily because we are still going through the [Delta variant surges] and from what I'm hearing from multiple scientists talking about the new Lambda variant, which began somewhere in South America, like how the Delta variant came from South Asia. Right now, we are almost at 175,000 new cases a day and over 1100 deaths reported on Friday. So, I'm worried about where we are right now, with almost 80 million plus Americans not vaccinated who should be vaccinated.
It does concern me that over the next 8 to 10 weeks, even if every American starts getting vaccinated, it's going to take several weeks before we can get our handle on the pandemic. And then, God forbid if we get another variant, like Lambda, and we don't know the sensitivity of vaccination, we don't know how often we need to vaccinate people, even for the booster doses. So, all of these unpredictables make me feel that the trend in utilization of biosimilar pegfilgrastim will go up.