Helping you detect, treat and manage arthritis

Do you have rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or plaque psoriasis?

Stickman with megaphone calling for patient inputCall for patient input on biosimilar infliximab (Merck) for rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis

Do you have rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or plaque psoriasis? We need your valuable input

Health Canada defines biosimilars as biologic medicines that are similar to, and would enter the market after, an approved originator biologic (such as Remicade®).

The Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input to patient organizations on the manufacturer’s submission for biosimilar infliximab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. The originator biologic, or reference product, is infliximab (Remicade®).

The CDR is part of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs, and provides formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except Quebec).

To help them make their recommendations, the CDR accepts input from patient organizations and groups, like Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE). Because patient input is vitally important to government decision-making about medications, we would like to gather your views and share them with the CDR.

These are the questions they are asking: Continue reading

Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on biosimilar etanercept

Stickman with megaphone calling for patient inputBC PharmaCare is looking for your input on biosimilar etanercept (Erelzi) for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Biosimilar etanercept (Erelzi) 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 your input on biosimilar etanercept for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have AS, JIA or RA, a caregiver to someone with AS, JIA or RA, or if your group represents people who live with AS, JIA or RA.
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Throwback Lupus – What was the state of lupus in 2010?

Slide image with butterfly to represent lupusIn honour of Lupus Awareness Month, the Arthritis Broadcast Network is doing a throwback coverage on lupus. The coverage highlights Arthritis Research Canada and Arthritis Consumer Experts’ coverage of the 9th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematous, Vancouver 2010 (“Lupus 2010”). The event was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in June, 2010. Hundreds of world leading researchers, healthcare professionals, and individuals living with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) learned about the current state of the science in SLE and future opportunities in lupus research, education and care.

The objectives of the Lupus 2010 were to: Continue reading

Canadian Obesity Network publishes first-ever Report Card On Access to Obesity Treatment

Canadian Obesity Network publishes first-ever Report Card On Access to Obesity Treatment For Adults in Canada 2017

A paradigm shift in the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Report Card on Obesity Treatment Cover PhotoThe report is a shift away from considering obesity to be merely the result of poor lifestyle choices toward a socio-ecological model of health that carries with it an obligation to our health systems and society to prevent and treat it as we do other chronic diseases.

Understanding your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Health Canada’s Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults uses the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine if someone is overweight. You can calculate your BMI using the formula below or online here:

BMI = weight (kg)/height (m)2

Health Canada’s Health Risk Classification According to Body Mass Index (BMI) table shows the correlation between your BMI score and your risk of developing health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer. Please note other factors may influence your BMI. You should consult your family physician if you are concerned about being overweight.
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It’s not your fault you are depressed…YOU are not making your RA worse

Woman with text It's not your fault you are depressedPeople living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are twice as likely as the rest of the population to feel depressed. An important thing to understand is that it is NOT your fault you are depressed, therefore, YOU are not making your RA worse. It is natural to feel anxious or sad as a result of the diagnosis and to be depressed as a symptom of the disease. Instead, realise that it just demonstrates that rheumatoid arthritis is a complex condition that may require multiple levels of treatment; and, that an important strategy for reducing the pain of arthritis is treating your depression. Two approaches can be used, non-pharmacological and pharmacological, together or individually.

Separate from improving mood, antidepressants have been shown to reduce pain in many different chronic conditions, including arthritis, and they work even when depression is not a factor. How these drugs work to reduce pain is not fully understood, but may have to do with improving sleep, relaxing muscles, or increasing neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that are responsible for lessening pain signals.

Please consult your doctor to discuss your treatment options.

There are many strategies you can try, which you may find useful for helping you to avoid or alleviate depression without using drugs. No matter what suggestions you decide will work best for you, we recommend you speak with your doctor or therapist before getting started: Continue reading

Do it for the kids! Juvenile arthritis: Exercise, models of care, and advocacy

Four kids playing at the park

In honour of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada, we have compiled a list of interviews from this year’s CRA Annual Scientific Meeting & AHPA Annual Meeting in Ottawa. The interviews below highlight models of care, advocacy, clinical practices, and different therapy options for juvenile arthritis.  Continue reading