Good news in Quebec!
Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis approved in Quebec.
As of June 1st, tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis has been listed for coverage on Quebec’s drug formulary. Click here to view the detailed medication criteria.
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.
A recent study published in the journal Rheumatology found that 40% of patients scored low in an adherence questionnaire at least once during the course of the study. The study was conducted by researchers from the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology at The University of Manchester. They studied 392 rheumatoid arthritis patients who started taking the biological therapy adalimumab (Humira®) during the year 2007-2009.
Professor Ian Bruce, senior author and director of the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, said: “This is one of the first studies to assess biological adherence in rheumatoid arthritis patients over time. In the era of new and effective high-cost drugs, there is the assumption that people with rheumatoid arthritis regularly take their medication as prescribed, but our findings challenge this assumption. We have shown that health professionals should not assume that because biologics are effective and expensive that all patients will take these as prescribed.” Continue reading
Common Drug Review recommendation for tofacitinib (Xeljanz®)
Good news for Canadians living with rheumatoid arthritis
On April 21, 2015, the Common Drug Review concluded its review of tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) and recommended to public formularies that it be listed for reimbursement in combination with methotrexate (MTX), for reducing the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adult patients with moderately to severely active RA or as a monotherapy in those who were intolerant to MTX. Click here to read the complete Common Drug Review recommendations. Continue reading
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm say that exercise and physical activity may protect against the development of rheumatoid arthritis in women. The researchers studied 30,112 women enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort who responded to a questionnaire in 1997 regarding physical activity. Participants were asked questions that assess daily energy use at home and wok and during leisure time. Researchers calculated the metabolic equivalent score based on duration, intensity and inactivity.
According to the research findings, 201 out of 30,112 women developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during the average follow-up time of 7.5 years, totalling 226, 477 person-years. Other findings include:
- The women who developed RA expended less energy per week;
- Women who spent more hours performing home or household chore had a 35% decreased risk of developing RA;
- Women who spent 2 hours or more per week exercising had a 20% decreased; and,
- Women who were inactive during their leisure time had a 27% increased risk for developing RA.
According to recent study, there was a strong connection between the severity and intensity of morning symptoms (including pain and stiffness) and measures of disease activity in the lives of those living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Below are the findings from the study:
- Relation between the severity of morning stiffness and intensity of morning pain and measures of disease activity = Pearson correlation of 0.91 (P<0.001)
- Relation between the duration and severity of morning stiffness and the Disease Activity Score at 28 joints (DAS28) and the American College of Rheumatology -20 score (ACR20) = Pearson correlation of 0.50 (P<0.001)
- Duration of morning stiffness and intensity of morning pain – Pearson correlation of 0.46 (P<0.001)
- Pain on waking as measured in patient diaries and at a clinic visits as part of the ACR assessment – Pearson correlation of 0.69 (P<0.0001)
Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) and Allied Health Professions Association (AHPA) Interview Series 2015
Today’s feature interview – Dr. Glen Hazlewood: Treatment preference of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis
ABN reporters from Canada’s arthritis consumer organizations interviewed leading health professionals and researchers during last month’s CRA and AHPA annual meetings.
Beginning March 9, feature interviews will be posted on the ABN YouTube channel http://bit.ly/ABNYouTube. Please help us raise awareness about the important work going on in Canada by sharing the interviews with your organizational and social networks.
About Dr. Glen Hazlewood (from Arthritis Research Canada)
Dr. Glen Hazlewood is a practicing rheumatologist in Calgary and is currently working towards his PhD in Clinical Epidemiology through the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. His PhD co-supervisors are Dr. Deborah Marshall and Dr. Claire Bombardier. Continue reading