JointHealth™ express   September 6, 2016

Let BC PharmaCare hear "Your Voice" on etanercept SEB

BC PharmaCare is looking for your input on etanercept SEB for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

Etanercept SEB is a subsequent entry biologic version of etanercept (Enbrel). Etanercept SEB is used for treating people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and works by targeting the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) molecule. It is given by subcutaneous injection.

A SEB needs to have the same mechanism of action as the originator biologic it was compared to, which means it should work in a similar way. Health Canada defines SEBs as a “biologic drug that enters the market subsequent to a version previously authorized in Canada, and with demonstrated similarity to a reference biologic drug.”

Etanercept SEB 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 your input on etanercept SEB for the treatment of RA and AS. You can give input if you are a B.C. resident and have RA or AS, a caregiver to someone with RA or AS, or if your group represents people who live with RA or AS.

If you would like our help in providing your input, you can email us your input at or call us at 604-974-1366. We can send it as a patient organization on your behalf. Please provide your input to us by Monday, September 19 so that we may submit the questionnaire in time for the deadline.

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.

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

The submission deadline is midnight on September 21, 2016. Patients and caregivers may give their input directly through the links below:

  • To view the information sheet for etanercept SEB for rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis: 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.)
About rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with symptoms of inflammation and resulting pain. It is a disease process where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy joints. It is a relatively common disease – approximately 300,000 or 1 in 100 Canadians get it. The disease process causes swelling and pain in and around the joints and can affect the body’s organs, including the eyes, lungs, and heart.

About ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis 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.