The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) would like to provide an update on the current situation concerning ACTEMRA IV in Canada. The CRA has been monitoring stock levels with the help of our healthcare and industry stakeholders and have noticed an increased demand due to its off-label use in COVID-19 patients.

Hoffmann-La Roche estimates approximately 1400 hospitalized patients per month can be treated with ACTEMRA IV for COVID-19-related pneumonia while still maintaining adequate supply for rheumatology patients.

In an effort to help address increased demand during this pandemic, the CRA recommends that, where appropriate, rheumatologists consider switching or starting patients on the subcutaneous ACTEMRA SC formulation. This will help protect the supply for rheumatology patients as well as provide for those with severe COVID-19-related pneumonia.

Further estimates provided to us indicate that if 100 out of approximately 1,700 rheumatology patients currently on ACTEMRA IV switched to ACTEMRA SC this month, ICUs in Canada would be able to treat at least an additional 65 COVID-19 patients per month (over 780 per year).

The CRA will continue to monitor stock levels of ACTEMRA IV and advise members as the situation continues to evolve. We also ask all members to remain vigilant for any disruption in access and report any concerns to info@rheum.ca.

Special thanks to Carter Thorne for his continued advocacy on this issue.