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JointHealth™ monthly: Three Women Who “Rock” Arthritis

JointHealth™ monthly – May, 2014: Three Women Who “Rock” Arthritis

Title Banner for JointHealth monthlyWomen and arthritis are strongly linked: Two out of three living with the disease are women; sixty percent of Canada’s medical students are women, and they will become doctors providing care to women with arthritis; women have led a number of significant advances in clinical arthritis research in Canada.

In this issue of JointHealth™ monthly, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is proud to profile three women who “rock” the arthritis world. You will find the following interviews:

  • Dr. Linda Li on arthritis knowledge and exercise in the digital age
  • Dr. Janis McCaffrey on being a “Doctor Mom” living with lupus
  • Dr. Julia Alleyne on sports and exercise

Face of feature three womenThis issue’s “Health Happenings” highlights ACE’s latest initiative, Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis competition, and how your company can qualify for this award.

AS it Goes – Jackpot! Winner of the Rheumy Lottery

Jackpot!

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net

Reflecting on how few rheumatologists there are in Canada and how many people live with arthritis, Fran counts herself among the select few—a jackpot winner, in a way—for having a rheumy.

I am one of the fortunate ones. There have been many days of late when I didn’t feel so lucky with an inflammatory disease that likes to highjack my life. But apparently I should count myself among the select few because I have a rheumatologist I am able to see for regular checkups or call on in crisis (depending what’s brewing with my ankylosing spondylitis). Continue reading

JointHealth™ monthly: Innovations in Arthritis Treatment

The JointHealth™ Report Card and Arthritis Medications Guide issue

While there are no cures for arthritis, scientific advances and improved treatments, along with a better understanding of combination medication therapy, are allowing people with arthritis to live healthier, more productive lives. In particular, advances in the area of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications (or “DMARDs”) and biologic response modifiers (or “biologics”) have radically changed health outcomes—for the better—of thousands of people living with a number of the more than 100 types of arthritis.

The Report Card and Medicaitons Guide issueTo ensure that all Canadians have access to the medications they need to treat their arthritis, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) created the first JointHealth™ Report Card on Provincial Formulary Reimbursements for Biologic Response Modifiers in 2007. Serving as a way to keep Canadians aware of how well their province compares to the rest of Canada in its cost coverage of medications, the Report Card ranks publicly funded medication formularies based on the number of medically necessary biologic arthritis medications they list.

The Report Card is available online at jointhealth.org and updated monthly. Once a year, it is printed and distributed to JointHealth™ monthly readers and subscribers, elected officials, arthritis specialists and healthcare professionals across Canada.

Inside this issue of JointHealth™ monthly, in addition to the Report Card you will find:

  • A chart listing important information about the medications used to treat arthritis in Canada, called the JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Guide.
  • An interview with Dr. Kam Shojania of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, in which he tells us about emerging medications for treating the most common forms of inflammatory and autoimmune arthritis.
  • Details of ACE’s campaign to raise awareness about subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) in BC, Alberta, and Ontario.
  • Information about exciting new research that was presented late last year in an annual conference that brings together researchers from around the world.

AS it Goes – To Florida for an Ache Break

Fran and her hubby on a Florida beach

Fran and her hubby on a Florida beach

Spending time down south in the Florida sun sure sounds like a cure-all for ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and osteoarthritis. However, the reality—for me—is very different. Weeks before we leave on our annual sojourn, I fantasize about how my various aches and pains will miraculously disappear once my joints are warmed by the sun and surf. I am (obviously) delusional (or seriously in denial) because every year I am sorely disappointed that my AS and osteo fail to give me a break during my winter reprieve. Continue reading

Health Canada approves new inflammatory arthritis medications

Canada flagWith two new medications approved by Health Canada this month, the New Year is looking promising for people who live with certain forms of inflammatory arthritis.

So far in 2014, Health Canada has issued Notices of Compliance (NOCs) for certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis (January 2) and for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (January 15), and ustekinumab (Stelara®) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis (January 21). Continue reading