BC PharmaCare is looking for your input on tocilizumab for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA).
Tocilizumab (Actemra®) is now being considered for coverage under the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s PharmaCare program. By filling out a questionnaire on a website called Your Voice, you can provide feedback about tocilizumab for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA)
You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have pJIA, a caregiver to someone with pJIA, or if your group represents people who live with pJIA. Continue reading
Last October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Otrexup, a single-dose auto-injector containing methotrexate (MTX) to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis in adults, and polyarticular idiopathic arthritis (pJIA) in children. Otrexup is taken once a week via self-administration with an easy-to-use, single dose, and disposable auto injector. Antares Pharma have announced the availability of Otrexup in their company.
When asked for his thoughts on Otrexup, Seth Ginsberg, President and Co-founder of CreakyJoints, said: “CreakyJoints welcomes new treatment options for patients with RA. Because so many RA patients have limited manual dexterity, conventional syringes for injection of methotrexate with a pre-filled auto-injector is an important edition to treatment options available because it expands RA patients’ access to care.” Continue reading
Only 20 more days to Christmas holiday! This is a great time to think back on the year and thank those who have helped the arthritis community. To list a few of many, we think the following organizations have made it to Santa’s “Nice List”. Do you know of any accomplishment(s) by an individual, community group, or organization that have shown great care and support to the arthritis community this year? If you do, please share with everyone in the comments section. Alternatively, you may share via our Facebook and Twitter channel with hashtag #ACESantaList.
Arthritis Consumer Experts’ “ACE Santa’s Nice List” Continue reading
Health Canada approves tocilizumab (Actemra®) to treat Canadian children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Nearly two years ago tocilizumab (Actemra®) was approved by Health Canada for treating the systemic form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). One week ago that approval was expanded to include polyarticular-course JIA. Continue reading
Tocilizumab (Actemra®) approved in Prince Edward Island for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis AND rheumatoid arthritis.
On October 1st, tocilizumab (Actemra®) became listed on Prince Edward Island’s medication formulary, under the newly established Catastrophic Drug Program, for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Tocilizumab belongs to the class of medications called “biologics” (short for biologic response modifiers), which target the specific pathways responsible for causing inflammation and joint destruction. Tocilizumab specifically inhibits or slows down the body’s production of IL-6 (a protein that when overproduced promotes inflammation) and is effective at treating the symptoms and underlying disease process in sJIA and RA.
We commend the province for adding tocilizumab because now children with sJIA and adults with RA who live in PEI will have a treatment option where none in this class of medication existed for them before. Since everyone responds differently to the available medications, no single biologic therapy is effective for treating RA or sJIA. The addition of tocilizumab means one more treatment option is available for residents of PEI, and that improves the chances of finding the right one for an individual.
The change is reflected in October’s update of the JointHealth™ Report Card on provincial formulary reimbursement listings for biologic response modifiers.
The University of Buffalo have provided the first genomic characterization of remission in juvenile arthritis, commonly referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The study, Genomic Characterization of Remission in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, is led by James N. Jarvis, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics. His team believe the study would help create individualized treatments for JIA down the road.
Photo credit: By dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
With the help of current treatment, 35 to 50 percent of children living with JIA achieve remission. However, when children phase out their medication treatment within two to six months of remission, they sometimes experience post-remission flares. If your child experiences this, it may be because their immune systems are still unsettled.
Some key elements and findings of the research are:
- When comparing children taking methotrexate and etanercept with healthy controls, 200 genes in white blood cells were expressed differently throughout the group. Of the 200 genes, some bind to HNF4a, a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences and controls the flow of genetic information, affecting gene expression.
- Remission is tied to HNF4a. This protein helps regulate metabolism in liver and pancreatic cells. Researchers now believe that it also affects a patient’s response to therapeutic agents.
- Remission in JIA is a biologic state where pro-inflammatory responses occur concurrently with anti-inflammatory responses caused by medication. This stage acts as a bridge for the path of the return to normal.
- This research acts as a foundation for future studies to identify biomarkers that allow clinicians to personalize treatment by predicting which patients will respond best to which therapies.
- Jarvis and his team are undergoing other research involving the study of microarray-based biomarkers in JIA and the role of epigenetics in JIA. What are epigenetics? Click here to find out.