JointHealth™ express   May 12, 2015

What has ACE done for you lately?

One of the busiest times of year in arthritis, and here’s what ACE has been working on.

Alberta Election Candidate Survey
ACE sent an open letter and survey to all candidates in the May 5th Alberta provincial election, asking them how their Party plans to improve arthritis prevention, treatment and care for more than 500,000 Albertans living with the disease. To see the survey and candidate responses, please go to

2015 CADTH Symposium in Saskatoon
ACE attended the 2015 CADTH Symposium in Saskatoon, the “Paris of the Prairies” from April 12 to 14. Cheryl Koehn presented a patient perspective on a panel titled “How HTA Recommendations inform Decision-Makers on Subsequent Entry Biologics (SEBs): Post-HTA and Back Again.” The ACE team in attendance also generated Symposium-related conversations around emerging arthritis issues on Twitter and Facebook, and was rated one of the “top influencers” at the meeting.

Celebrating the life of a healthcare leader and arthritis patient champion
April’s JointHealth™ monthly newsletter celebrates the legacy of Dr. Cy Frank - healthcare leader, teacher, researcher, orthopaedic surgeon, policy maker, and arthritis patient champion. Click here to learn more about Dr. Frank’s career and achievements as well as patient tributes to his commitment to healthcare system reform and meaningful patient involvement.

The JointHealth™ Medications Guide
In April, ACE published its 10th annual JointHealth™ Medications Guide, a concise “go to” consumer’s guide to arthritis medications, providing information about the medications most commonly prescribed to treat a number of disease types. To request a print copy of the guide, please email Alternatively, you can view the online Medications Guide.

Government outreach: Quebec SEB (subsequent entry biologic) Listing
ACE conducted a letter writing campaign and meeting follow up with Quebec government officials regarding the addition of infliximab-Inflectra in Quebec to the Liste de Médicaments d ’Exception for the Health Canada approved indications (RA, AS, PsA and PsO). The National Institute of excellence in health and social services (INESSS) has positioned infliximab-Inflectra and infliximab-Remicade (for the four indications) in the same category and is applying a “lowest price alternative (PPB)” to this category, forcing a patient to pay the difference for continuing on infliximab-Remicade.

ACE expressed its concerns to Quebec officials that the decision by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) to list infliximab-Inflectra under “PPB” with infliximab-Remicade suggests the products are “interchangeable” and raises the possibility that stable patients or patients with new infliximab-Remicade prescriptions will be switched from infliximab-Remicade to infliximab-Inflectra without their knowledge or the consent of their physician.

ICON: Walk 10 Blocks survey
As the lead knowledge user and consumer collaborator in a research and health consumer partnership called ICON (Improving Cognitive & Joint Health Network), funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, ACE conducted a survey for public feedback on the development of a new app, called “Walk 10 Blocks.” Stay tuned for future news.

Patient input submissions
During the month of March, ACE produced three “Your Voice” patient input submissions in British Columbia for tofacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis, the subcutaneous injection of certolizumab pegol for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, and the subcutaneous injection of certolizumab pegol for ankylosing spondylitis. These submissions are reviewed by the Drug Benefit Council, which provides recommendations on whether a medication should be reimbursed, and how, by BC PharmaCare. BC PharmaCare then makes listing decisions based on these recommendations and available resources.

The Canadian Rheumatology Association Interview Series
Also in March, Arthritis Broadcast Network (ABN) launched an interview series filmed at the recent Canadian Rheumatology Association and the Allied Health Professions Association annual meetings in Quebec City. The series feature ABN reporters from arthritis consumer organizations interviewing rheumatologists, researchers, medical students and other healthcare professionals. Please visit the ABN YouTube channel to view the complete series. Help us raise awareness about the important arthritis research work going on in Canada by sharing on your Facebook page and Twitter feed.