Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More about Saskatchewan's TNF coverage

A follow-up article from the Regina Leader-Post on Saskatchewan's coverage of biologics -- they're covered for rheumatoid arthritis, two out of three are for psoriatic arthritis, but none for ankylosing spondylitis -- suggests, as an aside, that the newly elected Saskatchewan Party government may reverse the earlier decision not to approve coverage for AS. Indeed: why should our disease be treated, pun intended, differently?

Previously: Saskatchewan to AS patients: No biologics for you!

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Living with arthritis

Ida Weibel's personal essay for Newsweek's Web site, Living with Arthritis, is a must-read: even though she' spent 10 years living with rheumatoid arthritis and not ankylosing spondylitis, anyone with a chronic debilitating illness will recognize her experience. This passage, for example, is just as relevant to us:

When RA patients complain about their illness, few understand or acknowledge their suffering. Every adult has experienced a painful elbow, knee, finger, or some other joint that interferes with physical activities. But people can be dismissive of our chronic problems because RA isn't life-threatening and may seem less serious than some other diseases. Those with rheumatoid arthritis, especially those with severe symptoms, are often silent and solitary sufferers.

Via Arthritis.

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Europe approves broader use of Remicade for AS

Label enhancements for infliximab (Remicade) have been approved by the European Commission for ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's, and psoriatic arthritis, according to a press release: "The ankylosing spondylitis (AS) label indication has been broadened to include adults with severe active AS who have responded inadequately to conventional therapy. The label also includes a significant improvement in physical function and quality of life."

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nor New Zealand

Pharmac, New Zealand's state pharmaceutical plan, covers TNF inhibitors for rheumatoid arthritis, but not for ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis. On its face, this looks less like pushback against the high cost of TNF blockers and more like taking a long time to approve it for diseases other than rheumatoid arthritis (which is usually the first disease these things get approved for).

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