JointHealth™ express   January 16, 2014

Let BCPharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on tocilizumab

BC PharmaCare is looking for your input on tocilizumab for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA).

Tocilizumab (Actemra®) is now being considered for coverage under the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s PharmaCare program. By filling out a questionnaire on a website called Your Voice, you can provide feedback about tocilizumab for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA)

You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have pJIA, a caregiver to someone with pJIA, or if your group represents people who live with pJIA.

The input is reviewed by the Drug Benefit Council, which then gives recommendations on whether a medication should be covered, and how, by BC PharmaCare. BC PharmaCare then makes a decision based on those recommendations and available resources. Policies and plans already in place also factor in the decision making process.

It is an opportunity for you to share your perspectives on medication decisions that affect you or someone you provide care for.

Please click here to let BC PharmaCare hear Your Voice. Or, go to the following links:
  • To view the information sheet for tocilizumab: click here
  • For the Patient Questionnaire: click here
  • For the Caregiver Questionnaire: click here
  • For the Patient Group Questionnaire: click here (Patient groups are required to register their name with the Ministry of Health before making their submission.)
The submission deadline is midnight on February 11, 2014. Patients and caregivers may give their input directly through the links above.

Alternatively, you can email us your input at or call us at 604-974-1366. We can send it as a patient group on your behalf. Please provide your input to us by Friday, February 7 so that we may submit the questionnaire in time for the deadline.

About tocilizumab
Health Canada has approved tocilizumab to treat rheumatoid arthritis, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Tocilizumab inhibits or slows down the body's production of IL-6 (a protein that when overproduced promotes inflammation) and is effective at treating the symptoms and underlying disease process in the aforementioned types of arthritis.

About pJIA
Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a rare, chronic and debilitating form of JIA. It is characterized by inflammation in five or more joints. Most commonly, it affects the large and small joints in the body, including knees, wrist and joints of the hands and feet. Approximately, 1 in every 1,000 children is affected by JIA, with pJIA accounting for 30 percent of cases.