CAPA In Action
Weather woes aside, CAPA was busy during the first few months of 2015 advocating and creating awareness on behalf of those living with arthritis from coast to coast. Our Board of Directors was busy advocating on a range of issues important to people living with arthritis, including provincial drug plan funding of subsequent entry biologics. Other highlights include meetings with the Ministers of Health in both New Brunswick and British Columbia and poster presentations at the Canadian Rheumatology Association annual conference and CADTH symposium. Read morein an article by our President, Linda Wilhelm.


Patient Involvement in Drug Reviews
In April, CAPA Board member Janet Gunderson presented a poster at the CADTH Symposium about how CAPA has contributed to the Common Drug Review process. The poster also included suggestions to CADTH on how they can continue to engage patients and patient organizations in new ways. Don’t forget to take a look at the CAPA poster on our website!

Spotlight on the Arthritis Patient Charter
In 2014, CAPA led the development of an Arthritis Patient Charter in collaboration with many arthritis stakeholders. CAPA President, Linda Wilhelm, presented a poster at the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) meeting on the development and continued implementation of the Charter. There was great feedback from those who took the time to view the poster. Read the poster and learn about how the Charter was developed and some of the activities planned to promote this tool.
Similar Pharmaceuticals are not always the same 
CAPA President, Linda Wilhelm, posted an important piece on the Huffington Post blog about subsequent entry biologics. As you may remember from our last newsletter, subsequent entry biologics are similar but not identical versions of an existing biologic medication and they are not considered equivalent to the original reference biologic. Read the blog post and stay informed about the difference between your biologic medication and subsequent entry biologics (also called biosimilars). You can also read more about subsequent entry biologics on our website.


Show us your Hands!

Our hands are often the first part of our bodies to bear the signs of inflammatory arthritis. Show Us Your Hands! is an organization that believes that inflammatory hands are beautiful and capable and that we can show our hands with pride. Through their awareness projects, they aim to reduce the stigma of inflammatory arthritis by showing the beauty and capability of our hands.Read an article about Show us Your Hands! on our website.

Arthritis Health Professions Association

As people living with arthritis, we rely heavily on the advice and assistance of a range of health care professionals. CAPA collaborates and works with the Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) which represents the various health care professionals with an interest in rheumatology practice. These health care professionals include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, pharmacy, nursing, amongst others. Read an article about the history of the AHPA.

Get Involved!

Health Canada Survey – Health Canada is making significant changes to the drug approval process through the passing of the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act. They are requesting input from stakeholders, including patients and the general public, as they are undertaking a needs assessment. Ensure the patient perspective is heard by completing the survey found here.

Spread the Word that Kids get Arthritis too – CAPA Board Member, Laurie Proulx, was featured in a newsletter from The Arthritis Society during Childhood Arthritis month. Read about what it’s like to grow up with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and live with the disease as a young adult. Raise awareness by sharing the story with friends and family!

National Pharmacare makes sense – A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) highlights that a national pharmacare program would provide substantial savings to the private sector with little increase in government costs. Share this important study with your provincial and national elected officials!

Share your thoughts about Gout – As part of World Gout day, share your thoughts about how you understand the condition and treatment of gout. You won’t need to prepare or have any special knowledge to contribute. You will also be paid for your time. Read more about the project here.

Join the Access our Medicines Thunderclap – Access our Medicines is hosting a Thunderclap to get the word out about access to affordable medicine for all. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account, you can join in the Thunderclap campaign. When you join the Thunderclap, a message will be sent on your behalf from your social media account on the May 6, 2015 at 8 a.m. Add your voice to this important cause!



Important News

Quebec formulary decision for Remicade – The Quebec government has put in a place a new temporary measure to fully reimburse the cost of Remicade. However, the prescription must specifically note “no substitution” in order to allow for full reimbursement. They had previously reduced the amount of reimbursement to the cost of subsequent entry biologic Inflectra. Learn more in this Infolettre published by the Quebec government (available only in French).New CAPA Board Members – We are pleased to announce that Nathalie Robertson and Allison Brennan have joined the Board of Directors of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA). You can learn more about them on our website. Please join us in welcoming them to the Board!

Important safety information – Health Canada regularly publishes warnings and advisories about drugs and natural health products on their website. In recent months, a recall for Methotrexate was communicated as well as important safety information regarding the cardiovascular risks for Ibuprofen. You can receive these important alerts by registering on the Health Canada website.

Interview series – There are a number of great interviews of arthritis researchers and advocates from the Canadian Rheumatology Association annual conference. Our very own, Linda Wilhelm, was interviewed about the Arthritis Patient Charterposter which she presented at the conference.

Website and Facebook – Our website and Facebook page are being continually updated with new information. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest arthritis and advocacy information