Normal human immunoglobulin (NHIg) is a fractionated blood product. It is made from pooled human plasma from donors with high concentrations of specific antibodies. NHIg is sometimes called intramuscular immunoglobulin as it's usually administered into a muscle.

In Australia, NHIg is available under the national blood arrangements for 2 specific purposes:

  • public health disease control activities, to treat susceptible contacts of an indicated infectious disease (hepatitis A, measles, poliomyelitis or rubella), where directed by the public health units in each state and territory
  • treatment of specified immunodeficiency conditions for patients for whom treatment with both intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) (where available) is contraindicated.

NHIg will not be routinely provided for any other purpose, including travel prophylaxis for hepatitis A. Advice in relation to prophylaxis for hepatitis A can be found in the Australian Immunisation Handbook(Opens in a new tab/window) on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Accessing NHIg

You can only access NHIg as a government-funded product under the national blood arrangements. See the National Product Price List for product details.

Meet a specific use purpose for NHIg

To access government-funded NHIg products, your request must meet one of the 2 specific use purposes.

Use for public health disease control

Government-funded NHIg may be supplied as a post-exposure prophylactic for contacts of one of these infectious diseases:

  • hepatitis A
  • measles
  • poliomyelitis
  • rubella.

The use of NHIg in these cases is under the direction of a public health unit in the relevant state or territory.

The Communicable Diseases Network Australia provides a series of national guidelines(Opens in a new tab/window) to help public health units respond to notifiable diseases.

Use when IVIg and SCIg are contraindicated

Government-funded NHIg may be supplied for patients with a specified immunodeficiency condition where both IVIg and SCIg (where available) are contraindicated.

When used for this purpose, access to NHIg is managed through the same governance framework as IVIg and SCIg. To access government-funded NHIg, your request must meet our Criteria for the clinical use of immunoglobulin in Australia.

In cases where a clinician wants to use NHIg instead of IVIg or SCIg, they must explain in writing the specific clinical reason why they can't use IVIg or SCIg.

If NHIg is being used outside of a hospital setting, medical officers must follow the same governing requirements as for SCIg.

Request authorisation and order

There are 2 ways to request authorisation and order NHIg products. The method you use depends on why you need to use NHIg.

For public health disease control

To request and order NHIg for public health disease control, you must complete the NHIg order form below. You can't use BloodSTAR or BloodNet to order NHIg for public health disease control.

You must provide details about which public health unit gave advice about requesting NHIg for this use.

Submit the completed form to Lifeblood in your state or territory (contact details are on the form).

When IVIg and SCIg are contraindicated

If you want to use NHIg when IVIg and SCIg are contraindicated, authorisation must be applied for, approved and managed through the national online system, BloodSTAR. In BloodSTAR, you can provide the reason why you can't use IVIg or SCIg.

BloodSTAR facilitates requests for Ig in accordance with the criteria and the national policy. It also provides data to help inform future program arrangements.

All requests for IVIg products are assessed against the criteria and the national policy.

Get in touch

For more information about accessing government-funded NHIg products, contact us.

Phone: 1300 025 663 (13 000 BLOOD)


Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

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