Helping you detect, treat and manage arthritis

Good news in Ontario!

Girl in flight mid airTofacitinib (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.

JointHealth™ insight: The latest news on provincial drug formulary

In this issue of JointHealth™ insight, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) maps out the latest news for you about provincial drug formulary listing decisions. It contains information about important changes to provincial drug formularies and what it means for Canadians living with inflammatory arthritis. The changes covered in this update affect people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Map of Canada with highlights of changesManitoba
The following medication has been listed for reimbursement on the provincial drug formulary: Continue reading

JointHealth™ insight – Medications Guide Edition, June 2016

State of Arthritis Medications: Some old, some new, all important

JointHealth Meds Slide for 2016The reliable, quick reference arthritis medications guide you need to assist you and your health care team with your therapy conversations.

The JointHealth™ Medications Guide gives you information on the most commonly prescribed medications for inflammatory types of arthritis and osteoarthritis. Medication information for the following diseases is included in this year’s guide: rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

In this JointHealth™ insight, you will also find:

  • An explanation of the naming changes in the different categories of
    arthritis medications
  • Insight into the patient-physician therapy conversation by Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts
  • Updated disease information for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile arthritis, and lupus
  • The latest research on methotrexate and the consumption of alcoholic beverages

 

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.
Continue reading

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