Yukon, Ontario, and British Columbia have all recently added biosimilar etanercept (Brenzys®) to their provincial formularies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The following clinical criterion and conditions must be met:
clinical criterion: for use in patients for whom etanercept is considered to be the most appropriate treatment option.
conditions: Brenzys® must be reimbursed in a manner similar to Enbrel®; and, the cost of treatment with Brenzys® should provide significant cost savings for jurisdictions compared with the cost of treatment with Enbrel®
On October 25, 2016, biosimilar etanercept (Brenzys®) was approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Brenzys® is a biosimilar to the Canadian authorized reference product, Enbrel®. Both contain the active pharmaceutical ingredient, etanercept. Brenzys® works by targeting the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) molecule and is given by subcutaneous injection. Please click here to read the details of Health Canada’s decision summary for Brenzys®.
ACE is sharing the latest research news from this year’s American College of Rheumatology annual meeting (ACR) in Washington, DC.
The ACR is a gathering of more than 16,000 arthritis researcher, clinicians and patients from around the world to discuss the newest science about arthritis prevention, care and treatment. This week ACE will share the daily news from the ACR and interviews with arthritis leaders making a difference for you.
Arthritis can affect aboriginal people in North America differently than other ethnic groups. At a clinical symposium at the ACR – Rheumatic Diseases in Native Americans: What Can We Learn, How Can We Help? – conference attendees heard how the unique responses of aboriginal populations to arthritis have lessons for the rest of the arthritis community. Continue reading →
Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis approved in Ontario.
As of June 17th, tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis has been listed for coverage on Ontario’s drug formulary.
Tofacitinib is an oral targeted small molecule medicine (TSMM) that was issued a Notice of Compliance (NOC) from Health Canada on April 17, 2014. Tofacitinib in combination with methotrexate (MTX), is indicated for reducing the signs and symptoms of RA, in adult patients with moderately to severely active RA who have had an inadequate response to MTX. In cases of intolerance to MTX, physicians may consider the use of tofacitinib as monotherapy.
Click here to view the most up-to-date version of ACE’s Report Card on provincial formulary reimbursement listings for biologic response modifiers.
On January 18, Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey died in New York at the age of 67 due to a combination of problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. Frey’s manager, Irving Azoff, said that Frey secretly battled rheumatoid arthritis for more than 15 years before he died.
In the outpouring of mourning for Glenn Frey on Twitter, Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts and a rheumatoid arthritis patient of 25 years, tweeted, “I’m tired of hearing “no one dies of arthritis”. Time for main stream media to recognize our losses. RIP Glenn.”
The band is famous for tracks such as Take It Easy and Hotel California. Despite his secret battle with RA, Frey participated in the Arthritis Foundation’s 2013 Walk to Cure Arthritis Fundraiser. Below is a picture from the Arthritis Foundation’s website of Frey and rheumatologist Dr. Rinaldi from the 2013 event.
“Rheumatoid arthritis has taken the life of an incredibly talented musician, whose amazing music will always be part of our lives.” – The Arthritis FoundationContinue reading →
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.
To 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.
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.
Fact: One in six people over the age of fifteen lives with a form of arthritis.
Fact: Someone going to a pharmacist complaining of joint pain likely has osteoarthritis.
Fact: One of the largest selling classes of prescription medications are for arthritis, with biologic response modifiers (used to treat inflammatory forms) being particularly costly.
For pharmacies, this means that people with arthritis represent a large and important customer base. For provincial health ministries, arthritis is a significant expense.
The need for pharmacists to be educated about arthritis is an important message Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is communicating to pharmacies and to government healthcare officials. It makes good, economical sense for both to ensure pharmacists have arthritis training. Most importantly, the enhancement will improve health outcomes.
Out of recognition for this need, ACE, the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, and Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix formed a partnership that is providing Canadians with an important opportunity to get screened for the most common types of arthritis and is making a significant difference in the lives of individuals living with the disease and their families.
To learn more about this partnership, please click here.