Pharmacotherapy Brief report| Volume 34, ISSUE 9, P1948-1953, September 2012

Patients' Perceptions of Subcutaneous Delivery of Darbepoetin Alfa by Autoinjector Prefilled Pen Versus Prefilled Syringe: A Randomized, Crossover Study



      Subcutaneous injection of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents for the correction of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease is well recognized. Different delivery devices are available, although their impact on patient-reported outcomes is limited.


      Subcutaneous delivery of darbepoetin alfa via an autoinjector prefilled pen (PFP) and prefilled syringe (PFS) were compared and assessed according to patient-rated preferences and perceptions.


      In this single-center, randomized, open-label, double-crossover study, patients continued using the PFS for 4 injections or were switched to the PFP for the same number of injections, after which they were switched to the alternative device. Following further 4 injections using the new device, patients were switched back to the initial device. Questionnaires were administered at the end of each series of injections for each device and at the start and end of the study.


      For overall device preference, the majority (62%) of patients responded with PFP, whereas 32% preferred the PFS mode of delivery. This preference for PFP was driven by a perception of increased convenience and ease of use compared with PFS. No significant differences in pain scores were noted between the 2 devices. Most patients rated both devices as being “easy” or “extremely easy” to use and were either “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied.”


      When given the choice, most patients preferred the PFP mode of administration compared with PFS due to convenience and ease of use. identifier: ACTRN12611000839909.

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