JointHealth™ express   February 24, 2015

Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on certolizumab pegol

Let BC PharmaCare hear “Your Voice” on certolizumab pegol for ankylosing spondylitis

The subcutaneous (under the skin) injection certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®) 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 certolizumab pegol for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

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

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 certolizumab pegol: 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 March 18, 2015. 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 Monday, March 16 so that we may submit the questionnaire in time for the deadline.

About certolizumab pegol
Certolizumab pegol has a Health Canada indication for use in combination with methotrexate for reducing signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, and reducing the progression of joint damage as assessed by x-ray, in adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. It may be used alone for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who do not tolerate methotrexate.

About ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is one of the most common types of inflammatory arthritis. It is estimated to affect up to 1 in 200 people. Ankylosing spondylitis primarily affects the spine, but can also involve the hips, knees, shoulders, and rib cage. The most common symptom of AS is long-term back pain, along with spinal stiffness in the morning or after a long period of rest (this is the main reason why AS is often mis-diagnosed as ordinary "low back pain").