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Ensuring equal access to RSV prophylaxis

Live on Friday, November 11th at 1pm EST

Hosted by Leah Whitehead and Fabiana Bacchini

CPBF is launching a call to action on ensuring equal access, 32-35 wGA, to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis across Canada

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Access to palivizumab across Canada, depending on where an infant is born, is variable in children born at moderate-to-late preterm (32-35 wGA), mainly due to cost considerations.  This has created inequity.


A new cost-analysis of palivizumab has recently been published and the results indicate that the benefits of palivizumab are worth its cost when its use is guided by a risk scoring tool. Risk scoring tools help to target prophylaxis to those infants at greatest risk of severe RSV disease.


The CBPF, in collaboration with RSV experts, has developed a position paper that provides a summary of the new cost-analysis as well as offering a call to action to end inconsistencies in this population.

Meet The Speakers

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Kate Joslin


Mom of 2 preemie girls born in 2015 and 2018. Our oldest was born at 32 weeks and the youngest at 35 weeks. Our youngest contracted RSV as an infant and had been asthmatic since. I am a current veteran parent to the NICU at Kingston Health Sciences Center. 

Dr. Barry Rodgers-Gray

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Policy on who should receive medicines is often guided by cost-effectiveness analyses, which consider the financial cost of a medicine against cost savings from reduced illness and the value of improved health to the patient.  Cost-effectiveness can be improved by identifying those at greatest risk of severe disease.  Two tools to identify infants born 32-35 weeks’ gestational age at greatest risk of hospitalization due to RSV have been developed: the Canadian risk scoring tool and the international risk scoring tool. A new analysis has been undertaken to assess the cost-effectiveness of palivizumab prophylaxis guided by these two risk scoring tools, which will be summarized in this presentation as well as the potential implications of this analysis for universal prophylaxis policies in Canada. 



Barry Rodgers-Gray holds a PhD and has worked in medical education and communications for 20 years. He first worked on RSV in 2003 and has since been involved in over 30 publications. Notable work includes being part of an international expert group that developed and validated the International Risk Scoring Tool for identifying infants born 32-35 weeks’ gestational age at greatest risk of RSV hospitalization. Barry was also one of the investigators on the EROS study that assessed the burden to parents of having a child hospitalized with RSV. Barry is a member of the PROUD Taskforce of 24 RSV global experts assembled to help identify solutions to the burden of RSV in low- and middle-income countries.  

Dr. Bosco Paes

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Dr.  Paes is Professor Emeritus in the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, at McMaster Children’s Hospital/McMaster University. 


He has received several teaching awards and has been recognized for his academic contributions by the President at McMaster University and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada.  Dr. Paes current research interests focus predominantly on RSV in children, and thrombosis and hemostasis in the neonatal population. 

Fabiana Bacchini & Marianne Bracht, RN

Discussion of the recommendations



Marianne has 43 years of nursing experience in neonatology, as a bedside nurse, in the neonatal follow-up clinic, subsequently the NICU parent resource nurse as well as the RSV nurse coordinator in the NICU, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto.


Since her retirement, she is the chair of the education committee at the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation, and focuses on the development of educational materials for both parents and health care providers.

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