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.
Oliver Sachgau, a young university graduate living with juvenile arthritis, shared his medication treatment journey with the Globe and Mail this week. He was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the young age of 14. Throughout his high school and university years, he kept his arthritis symptom-free by taking the biologics Enbrel, which costs $1,800 a month and was thankfully covered under his family’s insurance plan. When he graduated from university, he was no longer covered under his family’s health plan.
In the article, he said: “I’m not a unique case. Enbrel is part of a class of medication called biologics. For those who take them, biologics can perform miracles. But their high cost, which is rarely mitigated by medical coverage, has created a unique situation for thousands of Canadians who want, but can’t have, their life-changing medication.” The medication cost Canada’s public health plans more than half a billion dollars in 2013, for about 30,000 beneficiaries. Continue reading
Arthritis in Ontario – A letter to Ontario electoral candidates
Arthritis Consumer Experts reached out to the Ontario electoral candidates in May. Find out what they had to say.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Ontario. What many people don’t realize is that nearly three out of every five people with arthritis are of working age. Arthritis is one word describing more than 100 types of disease. To effectively treat and manage the most disabling and life-threatening types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – the next elected Ontario government must increase its level of awareness and improve its standard of care.
As the Ontario provincial election campaign intensified in its final week, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) sent an open letter and a survey to all of the candidates. Read more about our campaign here.