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Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey battled rheumatoid arthritis

On January 18, Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey died in New York at the age of 67 due to a combination of problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. Frey’s manager, Irving Azoff, said that Frey secretly battled rheumatoid arthritis for more than 15 years before he died.

In the outpouring of mourning for Glenn Frey on Twitter, Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts and a rheumatoid arthritis patient of 25 years, tweeted, “I’m tired of hearing “no one dies of arthritis”. Time for main stream media to recognize our losses. RIP Glenn.”

The band is famous for tracks such as Take It Easy and Hotel California. Despite his secret battle with RA, Frey participated in the Arthritis Foundation’s 2013 Walk to Cure Arthritis Fundraiser. Below is a picture from the Arthritis Foundation’s website of Frey and rheumatologist Dr. Rinaldi from the 2013 event.

Glen Frey with rheumatologist Dr. Rinaldi“Rheumatoid arthritis has taken the life of an incredibly talented musician, whose amazing music will always be part of our lives.” – The Arthritis Foundation Continue reading

Patient groups release Pharmacare Principles in advance of Health Ministers’ Meeting

Best Medicines Coalition urging Ministers to ensure new policies expand access to prescription medicines

BMC Equitable document bannerThe Best Medicines Coalition (BMC), a national alliance of patient groups, released its Equitable Pharmaceutical Care: Principles and Considerations Regarding Pharmacare in advance of the January 20–21 Federal/Provincial/Territorial Health Ministers Meeting in Vancouver. The six key principles are universality, national scope, broad inclusivity, therapeutic options, timely access, and collaboration (as defined below).

  • Universality – Prescription medications have become an essential part of many treatment regimes, with their potential to improve patient outcomes and save lives while bringing economic value to the health care system. All Canadians have a right to access medically necessary medications, and our programs must include this integral aspect of treatment in a consistent fashion across all jurisdictions.
  • National scope – A system for all Canadians to ensure equitable and consistent access to medicines must be national in scope, regardless of whether there is central administration or the current structure of provincial/territorial health care delivery. If delivered regionally, then pharmaceutical care must be portable throughout the country and national standards are required to ensure equity for all Canadians, no matter where they live.
  • Broad inclusivity – There should be no limits placed on the types of conditions covered within any Canadian pharmacare program framework. All programs must be comprehensive and inclusive of all chronic, episodic, or acute conditions, regardless of incidence.
  • Therapeutic options – Canadians have a right to a high standard of pharmaceutical treatment, with access to a secure supply of a full array of approved medications, including both long- standing compounds and more recently approved advancements. Likewise, the concept of “the right medication at the right time” must be a central premise, enabling patients to benefit from those medications most appropriate for them.

    Programs must offer a range of medicines, which provide therapeutic options, so that treatment is not limited to a narrow selection of drugs within a particular class, since individual – even small – variations affect patient response and outcomes. Likewise, programs must be inclusive of all types of medication formats (e.g., oral, intravenous) and delivery systems.

  • Timely access – Extended wait times to receive medically necessary pharmaceutical treatments are unacceptable. Access delayed is access denied and so leaders must ensure that efficiency and timeliness be entrenched within any pharmacare framework including the review, assessment, and reimbursement processes.
  • Collaboration – Whether pursued nationally, in a pan-Canadian framework, or regionally, Canadians need significant pharmaceutical policy reform that involves full consultation with all stakeholders and careful consideration of options and implications. While this process is underway, decision-makers and drug program leaders have a responsibility to continue to use current policy, program, and budgetary options to address specific pharmacare challenges, which directly affect the lives of patients.

The Principles reflect the shared vision of BMC’s 23 member organizations (including Arthritis Consumer Experts) which represent a large cross-section of the Canadian patient community, including arthritis, gastrointestinal disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer and others. The Principles have been provided to all Health Ministers to support the BMC’s call for making pharmaceutical reform a priority and to ensure that patient voices are heard.

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JointHealth™ monthly – December 2015: The Report Card

The JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card

How does your province compare?
Picture of Report Card


During the last year, Arthritis Consumer Experts continuously monitored scientific and medication treatment advances that have the potential to affect the lives of those living with arthritis. The JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card summarizes and ranks these medication treatment advances and helps Canadians and their rheumatologists identify how their province measures up to other provinces in terms of providing reimbursement access to medications approved for autoimmune forms of arthritis.

The understanding of combination medication therapy allows people with arthritis to live healthier, more productive lives. To help prepare the arthritis consumer with the information they need to talk to their healthcare provider, this issue of JointHealth™monthly will also look at:

  • New arthritis medications on the horizon
  • The coast-to-coast discussion about a national pharmacare program
  • Take action now to improve your province’s drug formulary ranking

What can patients like you do? Continue reading

Qu’est-ce que le comité ACE a fait pour vous dernièrement ?

Nov 2015 SignageVoici ce sur quoi nous avons travaillé cet automne.

Les meilleurs milieux de travail au Canada pour les employés atteints d’arthrite

Toutes nos félicitations à l’Université Simon Fraser, L’Oréal Canada et High Liner Foods, les récipiendaires des prix 2015 des Meilleurs milieux de travail au Canada pour les employés atteints d’arthrite. Voici quelques-unes des meilleures pratiques identifiées dans le cadre de notre processus d’entrevue : Continue reading

What has ACE done for you lately?

Nov 2015 SignageHere’s what we’ve been working on this Fall

Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

Congratulations to Simon Fraser University, L’Oréal Canada and High Liner Foods for winning the 2015 Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award.
Here are some best practices identified during our interview process: Continue reading

JointHealth™ monthly – October/ November 2015

JHM Title Page ImageInvesting in employee health and wellness: 2015 Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

In this issue of JointHealth™ monthly, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) announces the winners of the 2015 Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award. Using an extensive evaluation process, ACE has awarded Simon Fraser UniversityL’Oréal Canada and High Liner Foodsfor their best arthritis practices in the workplace and their commitment to investing in employees’ health and well-being.

ACE also looks at recent policy changes in the private health insurance that potentially could affect employees living and working with arthritis. In this issue, you will find:

  • The winners for the 2015 Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award
  • What you need to know about arthritis in the workplace
  • New policies in private health insurance