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JointHealth™ insight – The JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card and Medications Guide Edition

Arthritis Consumer Experts’ 10th Annual Arthritis Medications Report Card and Medications Guide: The changing landscapes of reimbursement for arthritis medications in Canada

JointHealth™ insight banner on Arthritis Medications Report Card and Medications GuideArthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) has released its 10th Annual JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card and Medications Guide – the reliable, quick reference tool to help you evaluate where your province ranks in terms of providing reimbursement for medications to treat inflammatory forms of arthritis.

Commenting on the changing landscape for reimbursement of arthritis medications, ACE President, Cheryl Koehn stated: “Any new pharmaceutical policy that promises to deliver significant drug plan savings must do so without compromising patient safety and efficacy. ACE has also consistently advocated that any drug plan cost savings related to changes in policy that affect arthritis medication reimbursement access should be reinvested back to drug formulary budgets to support the listing of new arthritis medicines and other non-medication related initiatives to improve models of arthritis care such as creating rheumatology nursing billing codes.”

The JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card and Medications Guide gives you information on the most commonly prescribed medications for inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

In this JointHealth™ insight, topics covered include:

  • The changing landscapes of reimbursement for arthritis medications in Canada
  • The federal health department consultation on medication pricing regulations
  • The essential drugs program initiative in British Columbia
  • The Children and Youth Pharmacare plan in Ontario
  • Medication policies and politics in Canada

About the Report Card
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EULAR 2017 update on JIA: Never too young; Never too late

EULAR BannerAt this year’s annual EULAR 2017 annual congress, attendees learned about the need for increased collaboration between adult and paediatric rheumatologists to improve outcomes of adults living with active juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

According to conclusions from a review of more than 50 studies and approximately 3,000 JIA patients, half of adults living with JIA were not receiving adequate treatment, despite the fact that biological have been shown to improve the quality of life in children with JIA, with most of these benefits of treatment in childhood persisting into adulthood.

Presenting the results of her study, Dr. Berit Flato from the rheumatology department at Oslo University Hospital said: “Since 2000, biological and methotrexate have been prescribed earlier in JIA, resulting in increased rates of inactive disease after 1-3 years. Yet, recent reports indicate that only half of adult patients with JIA are on synthetic or biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARDs).

The inadequate treatment identified in the study partly explains why adults with JIA often experience more pain, poorer health-related quality of life, and lower employment rates.

ACE Founder and President, Chery Koehn, related the study results to the Canadian environment: “The reasons why many adult patients with JIA in Canada fall through this treatment gaps are many. A large factor is the transition of children with JIA from paediatric care to adult care, which often is not as smooth as it should be.”

Cassie and Friends Banner for JIA
JIA affects approximately 24,000 children and teens in Canada, making it one of the most common causes of chronic disability in children. JIA can be devastating and comes with high financial, family and societal burdens. Approximately 60% of children will have active disease into childhood. For more information about JIA, please visit Cassie and Friends, the only charity in Canada dedicated 100# to the paediatric rheumatic disease community (Cassie & Friends).

EULAR update: Talking ’bout a therapy evolution (spondyloarthritis)

EULAR BannerFrom this year’s EULAR annual conference comes major news for people living with spondyloarthritis (SpA). Based on recommendations from a task force of European and North American patients, rheumatologists, dermatologists, and health professionals, new treat-to-target (T2T) guidelines for SpA were announced that emphasize the importance to set a target in shared decision making between a specialist and patient and carefully monitor the disease in order to improve a patient’s health outcome.

“The T2T recommendations are following the principle that you have to define a target you want to reach and adapt management to reach this target. This is independent of the treatment you use to reach the target,” said Professor Desiree van der Hejde, a professor at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Continue reading

Winners of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2017 Race for Awareness

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day WAAD17 trophyArthritis Consumer Experts participated in the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis’ May 20 World Autoimmune/Autoinflammatory Arthritis Day “virtual” race. The event saw dozens of nonprofits, advocates, and experts from around the world come together to provide educational and awareness information to patients, their supporters, and the general public.

The event reached 1,000’s of patients and supporters in 62 countries around the world, but the awareness doesn’t stop with the end of this event.

The US Arthritis Foundation states that with autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical. In addition, slowing disease activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent joint damage.  The American College of Rheumatology & EULAR – European League Against Rheumatism work hard to keep treatment guidelines up to date in the United States. In Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Rheumatology Association work together to ensure Canadians living with arthritis get the healthcare they need. All progression of these diseases is permanent and irreversible – so early intervention is necessary, not only to avoid unnecessary damage and disability, but to avoid overburdening an already exhausted healthcare system (regardless of country) that long term disability healthcare costs would add to the problems.

Arthritis Consumer Experts is honoured to be crowned one of #WAAD17’s Nonprofit Race Team winner and be ranked beside other patient organizations. Here is a list of this year’s winners: Continue reading

The ARThritis Soirée will be at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on Thursday, May 18

Arthritis Soiree BannerHosted by Arthritis Research Canada, the ARThritis Soirée is an evening designed to attract the city’s business and community leaders, philanthropists, doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, and those who have an appreciation of art and a desire to support arthritis research.

Research has shown art adds to one’s well-being and therefore is a great element in managing chronic diseases on a holistic level. Moreover, art adds an extra factor of excitement and depth to the Soirée each year with the introduction of a different art form.

This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The evening’s entertainment will feature world-renowned violinist Jenny Bae.

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are now living longer

Image of an angel statute to represent lower mortality rate in rheumatoid arthritis patientsA study published by researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are no longer facing a higher risk of death than the general population. The study analyzed mortality data and looked at death rates among RA patients versus deaths among a control group of the general population.

The study included an estimated 25,000 people. Patients were divided into two groups – the first one was those with RA cases diagnosed between the years 1996 and 2000 and the second group was those with RA cases diagnosed from 2001 to 2006. Researchers looked at and tracked doctor visit records and other patient information through the year 2010.

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