JointHealth™ express   May 3, 2016

Canakinumab (Ilaris®) 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 canakinumab for the treatment of sJIA.

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

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 canakinumab: 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 May 18, 2016. 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, May 16 so that we may submit the questionnaire in time for the deadline.

About canakinumab

Canakinumab is taken as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection every 4 weeks. Canakinumab belongs to a group of medicines called interleukin-1 (IL-1) inhibitors and is a fully-human monoclonal antibody. It works by blocking IL-1?, leading to an improvement in symptoms occurring as a result of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It was issued a Notice of Compliance (NOC) from Health Canada for the treatment of active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis in patients aged two years and older in December 2013.

About systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a rare form of juvenile arthritis. It is an auto-inflammatory disease which can be caused by high levels of certain proteins in the blood such as interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and can cause fever, rash, headaches, tiredness or painful joints and muscles. The disease can also be complicated by growth failure, osteoporosis and deformities. As many as 24,000 Canadians children aged 18 and under live with a form of arthritis, or more than 3 out of every 1,000 kids.