JointHealth™ express   March 5, 2008

Great news for people with ankylosing spondylitis in BC: the provincial government has just announced that three biologic response modifiers have been listed on the provincial medication reimbursement plan for the treatment of severe ankylosing spondylitis.

As of March 14th, adalimumab (Humira®), etanercept (Enbrel®), and infliximab (Remicade®) will be available to people who live with severe ankylosing spondylitis on a case-by-case basis. Arthritis Consumer Experts, along with other patient organizations, has been working hard to bring this issue to light, and we are pleased to see that the voices of people with arthritis have been heard by government.

While this is great news, several biologic response modifiers remain under provincial review for the treatment of other types of arthritis.

BC PharmaCare review times for abatacept (Orencia®) and rituximab (Rituxan®) for rheumatoid arthritis, and infliximab (Remicade®) for psoriatic arthritis have now stretched to more than one year. Arthritis Consumer Experts is urging the government to immediately list these three medications, two of which have received a Common Drug Review "recommendation to list".

BC PharmaCare review times for the three ankylosing spondylitis medications listed today took up to 34 months, and we are asking the government to ensure that all current and future reviews of medications with a Common Drug Review "recommendation to list" be listed immediately.