Arthritis news. Anytime. Anywhere.

The Newfoundland and Labrador election is today.

Vote4Arthritis: Responses to ACE’s arthritis survey

Newfoundland and Labrador election banner

What changes would you like to see in models of arthritis care? 

ACE sent an open letter and a survey to candidates running in the Newfoundland and Labrador election. As part of its core government outreach activities and in the spirit of non-partisanship, ACE outlines the impact of arthritis in Newfoundland and Labrador and asks each candidate to share how government can improve prevention, treatment and care in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Below are the responses collected to date:

ACE letter sent to each candidate included:

Party responses to survey

Individual Candidate Responses

Please continue checking our Newfoundland and Labrador 2019 page as responses will be posted as we receive them. If you have comments, questions, or concerns about any of the answers provided, please take the time to contact the parties.

On Newfoundland and Labrador’s election day, make your voice count.

The general election in Newfoundland and Labrador is scheduled for May 16, 2019. What changes would you like to see in arthritis models of care?

Arthritis is a chronic disease that has a devastating and debilitating effect on the lives of more than 115,000 Newfoundland and Labrador residents – approximately one in five. Within a generation, more than one in four residents are expected to have the most disabling and life-threatening types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Newfoundland and Labrador election banner

Arthritis is also the leading cause of disability and work disability in Newfoundland and Labrador, with nearly three out of every five people with arthritis of working age.

Considering the prevalence of the disease and its significant cost to individuals and society, arthritis is an issue of great importance to candidates running for office. ACE sent an open letter and a survey to candidates running in the Newfoundland and Labrador election. As part of its core government outreach activities and in the spirit of non-partisanship, ACE asks each candidate to share how government can improve prevention, treatment and care in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The questionnaire asked the following questions:

Continue reading

Good news for British Columbians living with psoriatic arthritis

BC PharmaCare has recently added biologic biosimilar etanercept (Erelzi®) to their provincial formularies for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. 

Erelzi is approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis according to criteria detailed in HLTH 5360 (initial/switch) or HLTH 5361 (renewal) and when prescribed by a rheumatologist. Erelzi is approved for patients granted special authority (SA) as of April 9, 2019. The biologic originator (Enbrel) is only available to patients granted SA prior to April 9, 2019.

Please note pediatric rheumatologists do not have to complete an SA request for pediatric patients diagnosed with common pediatric rheumatology indications when using up to 50 mg of etanercept weekly. ParmaCare covers a maximum 28-day supply of etanercept per fill. Click here to read the limited coverage drugs listing.

Attention British Columbians: Your feedback is needed on developing standards that may affect how you receive joint injections

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is accepting feedback on developing standards for procedural pain management that may affect how you receive joint injections 

stick man with megaphone for patient input

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia announced in 2016 an initiative to develop standards for the accreditation of procedural pain management (PPM) procedures performed in community-based physician offices, practices, and clinics. The College is inviting your feedback on the new PPM accreditation standards. 

For patients living with arthritis, these standards would prevent shoulder and biceps tendon injections from being performed in an office setting and only in an intermediate level facility requiring higher standards (special hospital clinics). Your physician would have to give you a referral for such injections. When providing feedback, please consider the following:

  • You may experience a delay for the injections due to long waitlists or wait times
  • You may have to take more time off work to travel farther to get to these special hospital clinics
  • You may have to go through more administration work just to get an appointment for your injections
  • The proposed changes for these injections are not backed by evidence collected from studies conducted by accredited institutions

Please note the British Columbia Society of Rheumatologists strongly supports maintaining access to shoulder and biceps tendon injections in all outpatient clinical settings. These injections have a long proven record of safety. Restricting access will be detrimental to patients with inflammatory diseases.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is accepting feedback on this consultation via this survey. The deadline for feedback is Monday, May 27th 2019.

Thank you.

Arthritis Consumer Experts

Health Canada warning about Benlysta (belimumab) for systemic lupus erythematosus

Serious adverse events of depression, suicidal ideation or behaviour, or self-injury were reported more frequently in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus receiving Benlysta than in patients receiving placebo during a post-marketing study 

Below is an excerpt from the safety alert published by Health Canada

Information for consumers

Benlysta is used in combination with other medicines to treat adults with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus).

Continue reading

JointHealth™ insight –Arthritis science: What’s new in the research zoo? #CRArthritis

banner for this JointHealth newsletter

In Arthritis Consumer Experts’ (ACE) latest issue of JointHealth™ insight, we explore what “building bridges” – the theme to this year’s Canadian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Health Professions Association Annual Scientific Meeting – means to arthritis patients and health care providers. To help you, we have prepared a curated guide to a selection of #CRArthritis interviews, outlining key points covered during the event.

Among the topics of interest to patients, the interviews provide information on:

  • Building bridges between patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and allied health professionals
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Kids and arthritis
  • Working with arthritis
  • Targeted specific research
  • Medications
  • Mental health and arthritis
  • Hot topics from arthritis patient organizations
  • Models of arthritis care

All interviews can be accessed through YouTubeTwitter, and Facebook. To turn on French subtitles, please adjust the YouTube settings for each interview.

On election day, make your voice count.

The general election in Prince Edward Island is scheduled for April 23, 2019. What changes would you like to see in models of arthritis care?

Arthritis is a chronic disease that has a devastating and debilitating effect on the lives of more than 6 million Canadians. More than 25,000 Prince Edward Island residents are living with arthritis – approximately one in five. Within a generation, more than one in four Islanders are expected to have the most disabling and life-threatening types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and work disability in P.E.I., with nearly three out of every five people with arthritis of working age. 

Considering the prevalence of the disease and its significant cost to individuals and society, arthritis should be an issue of great importance to candidates running for office. 

ACE sent an open letter and a survey to candidates running in the Prince Edward Island election. As part of its core government outreach activities and in the spirit of non-partisanship, ACE asks each candidate to share how government can improve prevention, treatment and care in Prince Edward Island. 

The questionnaire asked the following questions:

  • What will your government do to bring a high quality, standardized evidence-based model of arthritis care for all Prince Edward Island residents?
  • What will your government do to introduce patient education and exercise programs, such as GLA:D, that have been proven to significantly reduce hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms?
  • What will your government do to improve the uptake of biosimilars and increase accessibility to life saving medications and reduce out-of-pocket costs for Prince Edward Island residents living with inflammatory arthritis?
  • What will your government do to improve the healthcare and lives of Aboriginals living with arthritis in Prince Edward Island?
  • How will your government establish better prevention programs and facilitate flexible work arrangements to help reduce the direct and indirect costs of arthritis to Prince Edward Island employers and the Prince Edward Island economy?
  • Will your government take steps to increase the number of rheumatologists and trained arthritis professionals to ensure timely, specialized care for Prince Edward Island patients with arthritis?

ACE will be collecting Party and individual candidate’s responses. Responses will be posted on the Prince Edward Island Election 2019 page as we receive them. 

If you have comments, questions, or concerns about any of the answers provided, please take the time to contact the parties. 

Did their responses help you decide how you will vote? Tell us what you think of their answers. Please contact us by email.

Caregivers’ role in models of care for inflammatory arthritis

Caregivers play an important role throughout the inflammatory arthritis models of care. The nurse at your doctor’s office serves as a first line of contact between you and your doctor. Your partner and family members at home provide physical and emotional support – be it helping you with groceries, taking you to your doctor’s appointment, or listening to your concerns about your treatment therapies. On Caregiver Day, we want to thank you to all the caregivers who are providing care worldwide. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of patients living with arthritis!

Plant with heart shaped flowers to show thanks on caregiver day

What is an inflammatory arthritis model of care?

“Models of care are very important for chronic diseases such as inflammatory arthritis because they facilitate early efficient diagnosis and delivery of holistic health care services, help in the realignment of existing resources to optimize health system efficiencies, and identify the need for new resources. Arthritis patients require an integrated team-based approach to care that includes a number of health care providers over a period of time.”

Dr. Diane Mosher, Professor of Medicine and the Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Calgary
Continue reading

The general election in Alberta is scheduled for April 16, 2019. Make your voice count.

What changes would you like to see in models of arthritis care?

Arthritis is a chronic disease that has a devastating and debilitating effect on the lives of more than 6 million Canadians. According to the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, more than 500,000 Albertans are living with arthritis – approximately one in five. Within a generation, more than one in four Albertans is expected to have the most disabling and life-threatening types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and work disability in Alberta, with nearly three out of every five people with arthritis of working age, costing Alberta’s economy $3.3 billion in direct and indirect costs. 

Considering the prevalence of the disease and its significant cost to individuals and society, arthritis should be an issue of great importance to candidates running for office. 

ACE sent an open letter and a survey to candidates running in the Alberta election. As part of its core government outreach activities and in the spirit of non-partisanship, ACE outlines the impact of arthritis in Alberta and asks each candidate to share how government can improve prevention, treatment and care in Alberta. 

The questionnaire asked the following questions:

  • What will your government do to bring a high quality, standardized evidence-based model of arthritis care for all Alberta residents?
  • What will your government do to introduce patient education and exercise programs, such as GLA:D, that have been proven to significantly reduce hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms?
  • What will your government do to improve the uptake of biosimilars and increase accessibility to life saving medications and reduce out-of-pocket costs for Alberta residents living with inflammatory arthritis?
  • What will your government do to improve the healthcare and lives of Aboriginals living with arthritis in Alberta?
  • How will your government establish better prevention programs and facilitate flexible work arrangements to help reduce the direct and indirect costs of arthritis to Alberta employers and the Alberta economy?
  • Will your government take steps to increase the number of rheumatologists and trained arthritis professionals to ensure timely, specialized care for Alberta patients with arthritis?

ACE will be collecting Party and individual candidate’s responses. Responses will be posted on the Alberta Election 2019 page as we receive them. 

If you have comments, questions, or concerns about any of the answers provided, please take the time to contact the parties. 

Did their responses help you decide how you will vote? Tell us what you think of their answers. Please contact us by email.

High-intensity interval walk training associated with decreased disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

A recent study has shown exciting new benefits associated with exercise for people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina found that 10 weeks of high-intensity interval walk training was associated with decreased disease activity and improved immune function for adults with RA. High-intensity interval walk training refers to a popular form of exercise that includes short bursts of fast-paced walking at maximum effort followed by less intense recovery periods.


The study included twelve physically inactive adults over the age of 55, with a confirmed diagnosis of RA. Participants completed a 10-week program consisting of 3x 30-minute sessions a week of supervised treadmill walking. This Included a 5-minute warm up and 5-minute cool down. Within the training session, participants walked at 80-90% of their maximum effort in intervals of 60 to 90 seconds. These high-intensity intervals were followed by recovery intervals at 50-60% maximum effort. Speed and interval times varied for each person based on a cardiorespitory fitness test, but none exceeded walking pace. 

Disease activity was assessed by a rheumatologist through a count of swollen and tender joints, perceived general health and blood tests to measure inflammation. Cardiovascular fitness and immune functions were assessed using a variety of clinical and laboratory tests, as well as standardized questionnaires. At the end of the 10 weeks, the following outcomes were observed:

  • RA disease activity reduced by 38%, with a significant decrease in swollen joints, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and improved self-perceived health. An ESR blood test measures the rate at which red blood cells settle in the period of one hour, revealing inflammatory activity in the body. 
  • Improved immune functions suggesting a reduced infection risk and inflammatory potential 
  • Cardiorespitory fitness increased by 9%
  • Resting blood pressure and heart rate both reduced 

 There is a substantial amount of research on exercise and rheumatoid arthritis, but few studies have reported the actual lowering of disease activity scores. As stated by the researchers, this study suggests that,

“High intensity interval walking could be an efficient, tolerable, and highly effective intervention to augment disease activity and improve overall health in patients with RA.”

There are certain limitations to the study such as the small sample size and no control group, but the findings will hopefully encourage more research in the area. In addition, these findings add to a growing body of research on the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis. To learn more about the study, click here.


To learn more about physical activity and arthritis visit the following pages: