JointHealth™ express   December 18, 2014

The JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card: How Does Your Province Measure Up?

While there are no cures for arthritis, scientific advances and improved treatments, along with a better understanding of combination medication therapy, are allowing people with arthritis to live healthier, more productive lives. In the last year, advances in arthritis treatment include the expansion of two new classes of medications used to treat autoimmune forms of arthritis. This year’s JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card reflects this change and covers three medication categories - biologic response modifiers, subsequent entry biologics, and targeted small molecule medications - increasing the number of individual arthritis medications evaluated in the Report Card to 13.

Serving as a way to keep Canadians aware of how well their province compares to the rest of Canada in its cost coverage of medications, the JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card ranks publicly funded medication formularies based on the number of medically necessary arthritis medications they list. The Report Card highlights to government decision-makers the lack of equitable access and patient/physician choice in treating the estimated 600,000 Canadians living with an autoimmune arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

The Report Card is available online at and updated monthly. Once a year, it is printed and distributed to JointHealth™ monthly readers and subscribers, elected officials, arthritis specialists and healthcare professionals across Canada. For ease of reference, the Report Card is now poster sized and can be put up in patient waiting areas.

Inside this issue of JointHealth™ monthly, in addition to the Report Card you will find:
  • A description of the ranking criteria for the JointHealth™ Arthritis Medications Report Card.
  • Details on how each province and territory are ranked in the Report Card.
  • Definitions of subsequent entry biologics and targeted small molecules medications.
  • A review of how federal, territorial, and provincial drug plans decide to provide reimbursement for medications.
  • Details on how to contribute to ACE’s patient input efforts and connect with ACE online.