Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


If you have a Facebook account, I've started an ankylosing spondylitis group there.


Celebrex approved for AS in Europe

Meanwhile, an announcement that will no doubt amuse those of you who've been using it to treat your ankylosing spondylitis for years, the European Union has approved Celebrex (celecoxib) for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis in adults. I'm surprised to discover that this is actually the first time a COX-2 drug has been approved for AS by the European Union.

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British Columbia and Remicade

British Columbia's provincial drug plan doesn't cover Remicade (infliximab) for ankylosing spondylitis, though it's been approved for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, reports The Peace Arch News, leaving AS sufferers (or, presumably, their private plans) to pick up the full $24,000 tab if they want the newer treatment.

One interesting bit from the article encapsulates the problem with B.C.'s prescription drug coverage: "B.C. pays more for generic drugs than other provinces; and, B.C. is usually last to approve new medications. One drug, Enbrel, for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, has been under study and review here for more than three years. Meanwhile, it’s approved for use in every other province except Prince Edward Island." Of course, Enbrel (etanercept) is of interest to AS sufferers too.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

'Please, don't call me homeless'

Worn down by depression and ankylosing spondylitis, by 1997 Norman Carroll found himself living on the streets of Palo Alto, California. Down, but not out, he began fighting for the place of the homeless -- or as he prefers, "unhoused" -- in society, and challenging people's preconceptions of what it meant to be on the street. Last year, Norman's lottery number came up: he now lives on a housing voucher in a studio apartment, surrounded by the affluence of Silicon Valley. The San Jose Mercury News has the story of this unique individual.

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