JointHealth™ express   October 29, 2010

Leveling The Field in Canada
As part of National Arthritis Awareness Month, ACE addressed the current state of restrictions and limitations that exist around the prescribing of biologics for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) through provincial public drug plans.

As part of our discussion, we cited the recent publication of a national paper entitled Leveling the Field in Canada that ACE co-authored with leading Canadian researchers. The primary objective of this paper is to provide rationale to allow specialist physicians to prescribe the biologic therapy most suited for an individual RA patient whenever it is recognized that the particular biologic would provide the best possible outcome for the patient. The secondary objective is to highlight to government decision-makers in this country the lack of equitable access and patient/physician choice in treating RA with the biologics.

The authors of Leveling the Field in Canada found that because of various restrictions and limitations within respective provincial formularies, public reimbursement coverage for biologics varies greatly across Canada. In fact, each province/territory has different coverage of biologics. There is no uniform public reimbursement across Canada.

During National Arthritis Awareness Month, ACE asked Canadians living with arthritis and their families and friends to help level the playing field in Canada by writing a letter to their Minister of Health and elected representative in their province or territory to advocate for better and equal coverage. Our message to Government is clear and consistent:
  • We ask the provincial governments to take steps to improve coverage of biologics and establish an equitable and level playing field for biologics across Canada.
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Thank you for your support.