The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) has announced that effective March 10, 2014, the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program’s limited use criteria for coverage of biologic therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been modified. The change came following a recommendation from the NIHB Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee. As a result, there are changes to the following biologics for RA: infliximab (Remicade®), etanercept (Enbrel®), adalimumab (Humira®), golimumab (Simponi®), abatacept (Orencia®) and certolizumab (Cimzia®).
How does the biologics reimbursement in your province and territory’s provincial formulary compare to the NIHB’s coverage? Find out by reading the JointHealth™ report card.
Below is an excerpt from the CRA on the changes: Continue reading
Today is International Women’s Day! We want to thank the women who we think have contributed greatly to the arthritis community. Who is your favourite woman?
Cheryl Koehn – President, Arthritis Consumer Experts
Cheryl Koehn is the woman behind Arthritis Broadcast Network. She is a national arthritis advocate, a community leader and a published author. In November 2000, Cheryl founded Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) and its JointHealth™ family of programs. Continue reading
A study presented at the Canadian Rheumatology Association 69th Annual Scientific Meeting showed that smoking appears to worsen disease activity in people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Disease activity in this study are defined by swollen and tender joint counts and patient-reported measures of diseases activity. Researcher Binu Jacob, PhD, from the Toronto Hospital Research Institute of Ontario, found that disease activity worsened regardless of background therapy and is higher in current smokers than in people who have never smoked. The study adjusted for age, sex, and rheumatoid factor.
Ten big drug companies have joined together with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to accelerate the discovery of new medicines for diseases like alzheimers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The project is called the Accelerating Medicines Partnership. Under the five-year agreement, the companies will be sharing scientists, tissue and blood samples, and data. The underlying goal is to help identify targets for new drugs. Continue reading
A study published on Friday in the Canadian Journal of Public Health indicates that nearly one in 100 Ontarians aged 15 and older lives with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The authors of the study estimate that the number of people in Ontario living with RA increased from 42,734 in 1996 to 97,499 in 2010, of which 44 per cent were female and aged 65 or older. Throughout the years, the number of rheumatologists remained the same in the province at 160 rheumatologists – that’s 1.5 rheumatologist per 100,000 population. Continue reading
Criteria for denosumab (Prolia®) for osteoporosis and tocilizumab (Actemra®) for rheumatoid arthritis updated.
The Yukon recently added two medications to its Drug Formulary: denosumab (Prolia®) for osteoporosis and tocilizumab (Actemra®) for rheumatoid arthritis. Both medications are considered an Exception drug under the Pharmacare (seniors plan) and the Chronic Disease Program, which requires an application for the Formulary Working Group to assess. Continue reading