Helping you detect, treat and manage arthritis

Steroid use associated with fractures in early RA

A recent study suggest that steroid use may be associated with fractures in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Researchers looked at the impact of systemic glucocorticoid exposure on fracture risk among new-onset rheumatoid arthritis by looking at administrative claims data between 2005-2012. The data provided detailed information about the treatments and outcomes of 42, 127 newly diagnosed RA patients.

Pill bottom with pills spilling outFrom the data, researchers concluded that 85% of RA patients were exposed to steroids. Rheum Now summarised the research findings as follow: “Although exposed and unexposed patients were demographically similar, fracture risk was significantly higher at doses <15mg/day (5 to 9 per 1000 person-years), ≥15 mg/day (16 per 1000 PY), and with cumulative doses ≥5400 mg (13.4 per 1000 PY). Adjusted fracture risk was approximately 2-fold higher at highest dose levels compared with 0 mg/day current daily dose and <675 mg cumulative dose, respectively.” Continue reading

Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on secukinumab

Stickman with megaphone calling for patient inputBC PharmaCare is looking for your input on secukinumab for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis

Secukinumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets IL-17A, a protein central to the development of inflammatory diseases. It is given by an injection. The drug is now being considered for coverage under the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s PharmaCare program. By filling out a questionnaire on a website called Your Voice, you can provide feedback about secukinumab for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have AS or PsA, a caregiver to someone with AS or PsA, or if your group represents people who live with AS or PsA.

The submission deadline is midnight on July 21, 2016. Patients and caregivers may give their input directly through the links below.
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Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on canakinumab

Megaphone GraphicBC PharmaCare is looking for your input on canakinumab for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA)

Canakinumab (Ilaris®) is now being considered for coverage under the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s PharmaCare program. By filling out a questionnaire on a website called Your Voice, you can provide feedback about canakinumab for the treatment of sJIA.

You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have sJIA, a caregiver to someone with sJIA, or if your group represents people who live with sJIA.

The input is reviewed by the Drug Benefit Council, which then gives recommendations on whether a medication should be covered, and how, by BC PharmaCare. BC PharmaCare then makes a decision based on those recommendations and available resources. Policies and plans already in place also factor in the decision making process. Continue reading

Call for patient input on SEB etanercept for RA and AS

Stickman with megaphone calling for patient input

Call for patient input on SEB etanercept for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Do you have RA or AS or care for someone who does? We need your valuable input.

Health Canada defines subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) as biologic medicines that are similar to, and would enter the market after an approved innovator biologic (such as Enbrel®).

Unlike the more common small-molecule drugs, biologics generally exhibit high molecular complexity, and are sensitive to changes in manufacturing practices. SEBs are not identical to their innovator products because their chemical characteristics cannot be precisely duplicated during the manufacturing process. Therefore, SEBs may have unique efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety profiles that are different from their innovator products.

The Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input to patient organizations on the manufacturer’s submission for SEB etanercept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. The innovator biologic, or reference product, is etanercept (Enbrel®). Continue reading

ACE Releases 9th Annual Arthritis Medications Report Card

Report Card Slide BannerGood news/bad news for Canadians living with arthritis, depending on where they live

Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) has released its Ninth Annual JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card with a clear message to the federal and provincial governments in Canada: Reimbursement access to arthritis medications has improved in many Canadian provinces, however, disappointing inequities remain in patient/physician choice and patient access to reimbursement for the medication prescribed for them by their rheumatologist.

“Thanks to the advocacy efforts of people living with arthritis and their rheumatologists, progress has been made in many Canadian provinces. We encourage the federal and provincial governments to maintain their commitment to the estimated 600,000 Canadians living with a type of autoimmune arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis – and their right to choose with their healthcare team the therapy best suited to their disease biology, which is distinctly different from patient to patient,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President, Arthritis Consumer Experts. Continue reading

Register now for the 2016 Spondyloarthritis Patient Forum

This forum will help patients with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis and their family. Register now for free!
Forum bannerThe Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada and the Canadian Spondylitis Association, in collaboration with The Arthritis Society, would like to invite you to register for free to the 2016 Spondyloarthritis Patient Forum. The forum aims to help patients living with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and their family. Light refreshments will be provided.

Here are the event details:

Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016
Location: Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Junior Ballroom CD
1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Time: 3:30pm-7:00pm
Cost: Free

Please note pre-registration is required. Seats are limited. You can register: Continue reading