JointHealth™ express   May 6, 2015

Call for patient input on apremilast (Otezla®) for psoriatic arthritis

Do you have psoriatic arthritis or care for someone who does? We need your valuable input.

The Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input to patient organizations on the manufacturer’s submission for apremilast (Otezla®) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Apremilast is an oral, small-molecule compound, taken as one tablet twice a day. The medication works by inhibiting the action of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4). PDE4 is an enzyme found in immune cells.

The CDR is part of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs, and provides formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except Quebec).

To help them make their recommendations, the CDR accepts input from patient groups, like Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE). We are calling for input from our members, subscribers and their family members who have psoriatic arthritis. Caregivers are also invited to provide input.

We would like to gather your views and share them with the CDR.

These are the questions they are asking:
  1. What are the psoriatic arthritis-related symptoms and problems that impact the patients' day-to-day life and quality of life? For example, what aspects of psoriatic arthritis are more important to control, how does psoriatic arthritis affect day-to-day life, and are there any activities that the patient is not able to do as a result of psoriatic arthritis?
  2. How well are patients managing their psoriatic arthritis with currently available treatments? Examples of the types of information to be included in the answer are:
    • What therapy are patients using for psoriatic arthritis?
    • How effective is current therapy in controlling the common aspects of psoriatic arthritis?
    • Are there adverse effects that are more difficult to tolerate than others?
    • Are there hardships in accessing current therapy?
    • Are there needs, experienced by some or many patients, which are not being met by current therapy?
    • What are these needs?
  3. What challenges do caregivers face in caring for patients with psoriatic arthritis?
    • How do treatments impact on the caregivers' daily routine or lifestyle?
    • Are there challenges in dealing with adverse effects related to current therapy?
  4. Based on no experience with apremilast for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, what are the expectations for the medication?
    • Is it expected that the lives of patients will be improved by apremilast, and how?
    • Is there a particular gap or unmet patient need in current therapy that apremilast will help alleviate?
    • Would patients be willing to experience serious adverse effects with apremilast if they experienced other benefits from the medication?
    • How much improvement in the condition would be considered adequate? What other benefits might apremilast have, for example, fewer hospital visits or less time off work?
  5. What experiences have patients had to date with apremilast as part of a clinical trial or through a manufacturer's compassionate supply?
    • What positive and negative effects does apremilast have on the condition?
    • Which symptoms does apremilast manage better than the existing therapy and which ones does it manage less effectively?
    • Does apremilast cause adverse effects?
    • Which adverse effects are acceptable and which ones are not?
    • Is apremilast easier to use?
    • How is apremilast expected to change a patient's long-term health and wellbeing?
If you live with psoriatic arthritis or care for someone with the disease, please send us your input by Tuesday, May 19, 2015, so that we may make a submission by the May 21 deadline. Your input will be anonymous.

Please contact us at to provide your input or arrange for a phone interview at 604-974-1366.