A: The Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) Nurse Home Injection Program (NHIP) is intended for all eligible patients with severe diarrhea and flushing associated with carcinoid syndrome for whom Sandostatin® LAR Depot has been prescribed. As of now, residents of all states except Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island can participate. Currently, reimbursement for home injections is provided to members of most commercial plans (such as HMO, PPO). Patients with government-provided medical insurance, such as Medicare Parts B and D, or Medicaid, are not covered at this time. You can determine your eligibility by calling BioScrip®, the company that coordinates this Program on behalf of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. The toll-free number to call is 1-888-LAR-4759 (1-888-527-4759).
A: This program is for patients with severe diarrhea and flushing associated with carcinoid syndrome. If you have been prescribed Sandostatin® LAR Depot for the first time, the initial dose of therapy must be given in a doctor's office or clinic. Further evaluation of your status will determine whether or not you are a candidate. If you have an approved insurance plan and you qualify, enrollment is easy. Call 1-888-LAR-4759 (1-888-527-4759) to learn more and see if you are eligible.
A: The program provides appropriately and conveniently delivered therapy:
- You can be confident that you will receive the right dose, at the right time, with the right technique
- You have the assurance of knowing that a specially trained registered nurse will come to your home to administer Sandostatin® LAR Depot
The program also offers nursing evaluation and follow-up:
- You'll have ample time for your nurse to answer questions
- Your nurse will send a report to your doctor after each visit
- Your nurse will make the next appointment and follow up with a reminder
A: Incorporating Sandostatin® LAR Depot into your schedule is easy. This program even lets you receive therapy beyond the traditional office hours if you prefer. Evenings and weekends may be possible too, even when you are traveling out of town.
A: A specially trained registered nurse is selected by BioScrip® to administer the injections in your home. BioScrip® is a leader in partnering with pharmaceutical manufacturers, doctors, and their patients to provide quality care and enhance patients' lives. All the nurses in the program have been fully instructed and evaluated in their knowledge of carcinoid syndrome, the prescribing information for Sandostatin® LAR Depot, and the mixing and injection process. All nurses in the program are continuously monitored by Nurse Coordinators at BioScrip® and are in regular contact with your prescribing doctor.
A: You can continue to get your prescription for Sandostatin® LAR Depot in the way you normally do. Insurance coverage for the drug is independent of coverage eligibility for home injections. Depending on your pharmacy coverage, the drug may be shipped to your home or local pharmacy for pickup. These details can be easily worked out with a BioScrip® case coordinator, and you can tell the coordinator what is most convenient for you.
NOTE: Sandostatin® LAR Depot must be refrigerated immediately upon receipt and until use.
A: Yes. Office visits and biochemical testing will still occur at appropriate intervals as determined by your doctor. Schedules are planned according to your doctor.
A: No. The enrollment form, which you can download here, will be filled out at the doctor's office, signed by you, and sent to BioScrip®. After this, most of the communication takes place by phone. The nurse coordinator calls you for interviews and assessments before the first visit. All scheduling is done by your nurse and is then communicated to the scheduler at BioScrip®.
To print a complete list of questions and answers, click here.
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) is a prescription medicine indicated for patients in whom initial treatment with immediate release Sandostatin® (octreotide acetate) Injection has been shown to be effective and tolerated for:
- Long-term maintenance therapy in acromegalic patients who have had inadequate response to surgery and/or radiotherapy or for whom surgery and/or radiotherapy is not an option (the goal of treatment in acromegaly is to reduce GH and IGF-1 levels to normal).
- Long-term treatment of the severe diarrhea and flushing episodes associated with metastatic carcinoid tumors.
- Long-term treatment of the profuse watery diarrhea associated with VIP-secreting tumors
In patients with carcinoid syndrome and VIPomas, the effect of Sandostatin Injection and Sandostatin LAR Depot on tumor size, rate of growth and development of metastases has not been determined.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Warnings and precautions: Treatment with Sandostatin LAR Depot may affect gallbladder function, sugar metabolism, thyroid and heart function, and nutritional absorption, which may require monitoring by your doctor.
Before taking Sandostatin LAR Depot: Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or are taking other medications, including: cyclosporine, insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, beta-blockers, and bromocriptine.
Common side effects: Most patients experience side effects at some time. Some common side effects you may experience include:
- Acromegaly: diarrhea, gallstones, abdominal pain, and flatulence
- Carcinoid tumors: back pain, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and dizziness
Other information: Patients with carcinoids tumors and VIPomas should adhere closely to their scheduled return visits for reinjection in order to minimize exacerbation of symptoms. Patients with acromegaly should adhere to their return visit schedule to help assure steady control of GH and IGF-1 levels.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.