JointHealth™ express   March 9, 2011

February was a good month for Quebec residents

There is more good news for Quebec residents living with certain inflammatory forms of arthritis. Last summer, the Conseil du médicament in Quebec listed golimumab (Simponi®) on the Quebec medication formulary for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, and as of last month the medication is covered for treating ankylosing spondylitis (AS); however, unlike more than half the provinces in Canada, still does not cover the medication for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Golimumab is a biologic response modifier that targets the TNF-alpha molecule (also referred to as a TNF-blocker). Golimumab, given by injection once every 4 weeks, is used to treat people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis who have had no response or an inadequate response to traditional therapies, such as Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs, like methotrexate alone or in combination with other DMARDs). To view Quebec's most current list of medications covered by the basic prescription drug insurance plan, go to the Regie de l'asurance maladie Quebec website and click on "List of Medications."

Arthritis Consumer Experts ranks publicly funded medication formularies based on the number of medically necessary arthritis medications they list out of a possible nine, for four of the most common types of inflammatory arthritis, which are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Click here to view the updated Report Card.