Understanding Half-Life: What does it really mean?

NHF (Orlando, July 21-23): Sue Geraghty led an interactive session at the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Annual Meeting to try to explain to patients and caregivers what exactly half-life means and how it differs between patients and products.

NHF (Orlando, July 21-23): Sue Geraghty led an interactive session at the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Annual Meeting to try to explain to patients and caregivers what exactly half-life means and how it differs between patients and products.  Her discussion including NHF cartoon videos to explain what half-life means and how different product half-lives and different patient activities might result in different treatment needs.  There were questions focused on the variability between patients – not all patients have an “average” half-life, some break down the factor 8 or 9 faster in their blood meaning it doesn’t last as long and others have slower breakdown and it lasts longer. This can result in differences in how long it takes before the factor you infuse is no longer available in your blood.  In addition, a patient’s half-life with one product may be different than with another product.  One patient said his treatment center looked at him funny when he asked them proactively to do a pharmacokinetic or “pk” study. The speaker encouraged that patients should have direct conversations with their healthcare professionals about choice of factor and dosing.