JointHealth™ express   May 29, 2014

What has ACE done for you lately? Here’s what we’ve been up to this month!

As one of Canada’s largest arthritis consumer education, information and advocacy organizations, our primary motivation is to serve the more than 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Every day we are working hard to serve your best interests. If you wonder what ACE has been working on to help consumers, we have much to tell.

To share updates with you, we have created a new bulletin called “What has ACE done for you lately?” – a monthly roundup of what we have accomplished and what we are currently working on.

Advancing a national dialogue with the private health insurance industry

Over the past 18 months, ACE has been meeting with leaders in the private health insurance industry to discuss arthritis in the workplace and its status as the most common chronic disease and the leading cause of work disability in Canada.

Recently, we were invited by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) to present a 90-minute arthritis workshop at their Annual Conference in Quebec City.

ACE Founder and President, Cheryl Koehn, and Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada presented an overview of arthritis, including discussion on how early diagnosis and targeted treatments in arthritis and work disability prevention can positively impact the employee living with arthritis, reduce presenteeism and absenteeism and help to maintain an optimal work environment for both employee and employer.

Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis

At the CLHIA Annual Conference, Cheryl Koehn announced the launch of a nationwide search for Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis.

ACE will evaluate Canadian companies that apply best arthritis strategies and practices in the workplace and their support systems for employees living with the disease. Companies of any size, with their head office or principal place of business in Canada, may apply for the program. ACE will evaluate companies based on arthritis best practice criteria: Physical Workplace, Employee Education, and Organizational Benefits.

The deadline for application is 5:00 p.m. EST on July 31, 2014. Winners will be announced during Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada in September 2014.

Subsequent Entry Biologics: Arthritis on the frontline

According to Health Canada the term "subsequent entry biologic" (SEB) is a biologic product that would be similar to and would enter the market subsequent to an approved innovator biologic.

The first SEBs entering the Canadian market are arthritis medications, putting arthritis consumers on the frontline. ACE has taken a leadership role in educating consumers on SEBs and ensuring decision makers consider the patient perspective.

ACE was invited to present at a Concurrent Session at the 2014 CADTH Symposium, titled Health Technology Assessment of Biosimilars (SEBs): A Canadian Perspective. Cheryl Koehn presented on why stakeholders should care about SEB regulation in Canada, provided a review of consumer/patient input to date on SEBs and the need for a patient-centred approach to SEB review and regulation. At the end of May, Cheryl Koehn was a featured speaker at the Institute of Health Economics symposium on Biologic and Biosimilar Therapies: The Future of Biologic and Biosimilar Therapies for the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Alberta Health Care.

Facilitating patient input

It used to be rare for a drug to be unavailable and that it was often a specialized medication. However, patients and family doctors are now dealing with drug shortages every day. In response, Health Canada is starting a six-week consultation on how to avoid drug shortages.

ACE has delivered notices encouraging its members and subscribers to participate in the consultation process.

Working closely with its scientific partners, the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, ACE is actively helping recruit participants for The OPEN (Osteoarthritis Physical Activity & Exercise Net) Project for improving physical activity in early knee osteoarthritis. The study is conducted with collaboration between the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University.

Connect Through Social Media

ACE is active in social media providing you the latest arthritis news and the opportunity to connect with us, and most importantly, with each other. Whether it's to share stories, or to communicate with like-minded consumers, you can find us on the following websites:

Trending now
The most visited pages this month are our features on “Disease Spotlight” and “JointHealth™ monthly.”
One of the most read stories on the Arthritis Broadcast Network was a feature post by our guest blogger, Fran Halter, discussing her day-to-day coping strategies for treating her pain.
ACE shared the inspirational story of Avery Bayntun. Thank you to Avery’s family for bringing awareness to the fact that early diagnosis can reduce permanent damage for children living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
May 12 was World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Arthritis Broadcast Network joined the online conversation by recognizing consumers living with fibromyalgia. Thank you to everyone who retweeted to raise awareness for fibromyalgia.