Improving rates of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in multiple myeloma patients on immunomodulatory drugs through a pharmacy-based system


Introduction: Immunomodulatory drugs used to treat multiple myeloma carry an increased risk of venous thromboembolic (VTE) disease. Previously published guidelines outline consensus opinion on how to mitigate this risk.

Methods: We collected baseline data to analyze how these strategies are utilized at our single institution and sought to improve the rates of anticoagulation for high-risk patients. This was done through a quality improvement project that added pharmacy/haematology oversight to the VTE risk assessment.

Results: Thirty-nine patients newly started on IMiDs were assessed for VTE risk. This information was passed on to the myeloma provider for consideration. Twenty-two patients were classified as high risk for VTE. Of the high-risk patients, 14 (64%) were placed on an anticoagulant for thromboprophylaxis. Eleven (79%) of the 14 used direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Eight high-risk patients did not receive an anticoagulant for thromboprophylaxis; 4 of these developed VTE. No patients on anticoagulation developed a VTE. This strategy had rare minor bleeding complications.

Conclusion: This quality action verifies guideline-based thromboprophylaxis in multiple myeloma and supports the benefit of pharmacy oversight in improving VTE rates. The use of DOACs in myeloma should be further explored.