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Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada: Arthritis Consumer Experts’ #ArthritisMadLibs Twitter Campaign

#ArthritisMadLibs is a chance to re-write the arthritis patient story during Arthritis Awareness Month – one word at a time.

word cloud of arthritis words for #ArthritisMadLibsArthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is celebrating Arthritis Awareness Month with the #ArthritisMadLibs Twitter Campaign. The goal is to help others understand the impact of arthritis and make informed decisions about the development of new arthritis programs that will benefit patients and their caregivers.

Mad Libs is a word game where key words in a sentence are left intentionally blank for others to substitute with their own words. As we continue to learn from the global arthritis patient surveys, communications is critical between patients and their doctors, rheumatologists, nurses, pharmacists, friends, colleagues and researchers. #ArthritisMadLibs is a chance to re-write the arthritis patient story – one word at a time.

During Arthritis Awareness Month, ACE will be tweeting daily with 5 themed Mad Libs. The themes are patients, work, family and friends, healthcare professionals, and animals. To participate, please follow hashtag #ArthritisMadLibs on our Twitter account @ACEJointHealth. If you do not have a Twitter account but would like to participate, you can follow our Twitter feed on the Arthritis Consumer Experts website ( and email your answers to To drive the campaign, please like, retweet, and reply on Twitter. Arthritis Broadcast Network will be providing a weekly summary of the Mad Libs.

JointHealth™ Correction

screen shot of JointHealth™ report cardThe 2017 JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card and Medications Guide referred incorrectly to the indications approved for etanercept (Erelzi®)

A biosimilar version of etanercept based upon the reference product etanercept (Enbrel®), etanercept (Erelzi®) was issued a Notice of Compliance by Health Canada on April 5, 2017 for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

We apologize for this oversight. Please kindly make this correction to the printed copy you may have recently received in the mail if you are a print subscriber.

Arthritis Consumer Experts

Good news for Canadians living with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

A woman happy about good news for CanadiansYukon, Ontario, and British Columbia have all recently added biosimilar etanercept (Brenzys®) to their provincial formularies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The following clinical criterion and conditions must be met:

  • clinical criterion: for use in patients for whom etanercept is considered to be the most appropriate treatment option.
  • conditions: Brenzys® must be reimbursed in a manner similar to Enbrel®; and, the cost of treatment with Brenzys® should provide significant cost savings for jurisdictions compared with the cost of treatment with Enbrel®

On October 25, 2016, biosimilar etanercept (Brenzys®) was approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Brenzys® is a biosimilar to the Canadian authorized reference product, Enbrel®. Both contain the active pharmaceutical ingredient, etanercept. Brenzys® works by targeting the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) molecule and is given by subcutaneous injection. Please click here to read the details of Health Canada’s decision summary for Brenzys®.

Listing details can be found in the JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card.

Reminder: Do you know a volunteer with arthritis who deserves an award?

Banner for Qualman-Davies Award for volunteer with arthritisThe Qualman-Davies Arthritis Consumer Community Leadership Award

Do you know a person with arthritis who has, or is, providing leadership in the community and deserves recognition for their valuable volunteer work? We encourage you to help us celebrate their contributions by nominating them for the Qualman-Davies Arthritis Consumer Community Leadership Award.

The Qualman-Davies Arthritis Consumer Community Leadership Award was created in 2014 to recognize one person’s contributions to helping Canadians living with the disease to be heard in decision-making processes that affect millions. That’s what Ann Qualman and Jim Davies did as early pioneers in arthritis advocacy in Canada. Their tireless and selfless efforts helped millions of Canadians.

To submit a nomination, please follow the four steps listed below.

  1. Obtain the prospective nominee’s consent to be nominated prior to submitting this form.
  2. Click here for the nomination form.
  3. Provide the completed nomination form to the nominee for their review for accuracy and obtain their signature on the document.
  4. Submit the form to

The application deadline is August 31, 2017. The winner and their nominator will be notified by the adjudication committee chair by September 8, 2017. The award will be bestowed in person at the Arthritis Alliance of Canada’s 2017 Annual Meeting Reception taking place on Thursday, October 26th in Vancouver, British Columbia (award recipient’s expenses will be covered).

Tell BC PharmaCare: Support canakinumab therapy for children in need

Arthritis Consumer Experts and Cassie and Friends Society have launched a canakinumab access campaign. 

child with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritisJuvenile arthritis (JA) affects approximately 24,000 infants to teens in BC and Canada, or 3 in every 1,000, making it one of the most common causes of chronic disability in children. Ten to 20 percent of those children have systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA), a severe and potentially life-threatening form of the disease – and many can’t get the medication they desperately need.

In partnership with Arthritis Consumer Experts, Cassie and Friends Society is leading a call for the BC Government to drastically improve the outlook of children with sJIA by allowing reimbursement coverage for canakinumab for the small number of children who need it.

Why have we launched our canakinumab access campaign?
Canakinumab is publicly funded in other Canadian provinces/territories but not BC, putting British Columbian children living with sJIA and other autoinflammatory diseases at a horrible disadvantage by denying them access to a life-changing therapy.
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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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