News & Updates 2018-08-27T16:12:11+00:00

News & Updates

Call for 2020 ASM Workshop Proposals

NEW FOR 2020: Your opportunity to present at the Annual Scientific Meeting!

Members of the Canadian Rheumatology Association and AHPA are invited to to share their knowledge and experience by submitting a workshop proposal for next year’s Annual Scientific Meeting.

Please see below for more information:

Who: CRA & AHPA members are invited to share their knowledge and experience

Workshop format: 60-minute interactive workshop sessions that optimize patient care

Location and dates:  Victoria, BC;  February 26-29, 2020

The ASM Program Committee will review and select the successful applicants based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of session content to target audience (adult and paediatric rheumatologists, rheumatology residents and health professionals)
  • Practical application to CRA/AHPA membership
  • Experience/expertise of presenters

Deadline to Submit: May 31, 2019

Click here to submit!

Submitters  will be notified in August 2019 

Important Safety Information regarding PrBENLYSTA (belimumab)

Increased Risk of Serious Depression, Suicidal Ideation or Behaviour, or Self-Injury

The Canadian Rheumatology Association would like to inform its members of the following advisory:

In a recent post-marketing study (BEL115467), depression, suicidal ideation or behaviour, and self-injury were reported more frequently in patients receiving BENLYSTA plus standard therapy, when compared to patients taking placebo plus standard therapy.

Healthcare professionals are advised to:

  • Evaluate the risk of depression, suicidal ideation or behaviour, and self-injury before starting and during treatment with BENLYSTA.
  • Advise patients and their caregivers to contact a healthcare provider if patients experience new or worsening depression, suicidal ideation or behaviour, or self-injury.
  • Evaluate and refer patients experiencing new or worsening depression, suicidal ideation or behaviour, or self-injury to a mental health professional, as needed.

Health Canada is currently working with the manufacturer to update the BENLYSTA Canadian Product Monograph regarding this risk, including data from the post-marketing study (BEL115467).

For more information, please contact GlaxoSmithKline Inc. Medical Information at 1800-387-7374.

More information (View PDF)

Developing a patient-centered framework for measuring, monitoring and optimizing rheumatoid arthritis care

When it comes to measuring the quality of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) care, your feedback is important!  Dr. Claire Barber at the University of Calgary and Dr. Diane Lacaille at the University of British Columbia have been leading a National CIHR-funded study to define “quality RA care” and build a framework for measuring it.  The framework was built with input received from stakeholders from across Canada including people living with RA, rheumatologists, allied health professionals, clinic managers and healthcare administrators.  Now, the research team is reaching out to the public for feedback on the framework and the measures it includes.

To review the reference document about the framework, please click here.  Your comments can be submitted anonymously using the “Public Comment”  button below.  Thank you for taking the time to tell us what you think.

Click to view

*If you are interested in more detail about the methods, please click here.

Click to submit your comments

Drug Shortage Notification – Methotrexate Injection (Sandoz), 25 mg/ml, 2 ml vial

Drug Name: Methotrexate Injection (Sandoz), 25 mg/ml, 2 ml vial on backorder due to delay in shipping

Date Shortage Reported: 09/18/2018

Expected Resolution of Shortage: 01/01/2020

Provinces Affected: Ontario; other provinces unconfirmed

Additional Comments:                                 

  1. Patients are frequently informed by their retail pharmacist, that all MTXsc is on backorder, which is NOT the case, and may have to ‘inform’ the pharmacist
  2. The Mayne Pharma Brand of Methotrexate 25mg/mL 2mL vial, which is interchangeable with the Sandoz brand in question, is available:  DIN 02182777
  3. Over the next 6-9mos, it is likely that all formulations may, from time to time be in ‘backorder’
  4.  Use Metoject pre-filled methotrexate.  Suggestion is to fax/ call in a new prescription just to be sure that the right product/dose will be dispensed. Also, patient will need to be informed that this is a pre-filled syringe with a different concentration of methotrexate (50mg/mL instead of 25mg/mL).

Note, that Metoject does NOT use the same API (Active Principle Ingredient), and originates in Germany, whereas API for all other brands use the same API sources.

Canadian Rheumatology Association Position Statement on Medical Cannabis Use in Rheumatic Disease

With the legalization of cannabis on October 17, 2018, Canadians may increasingly turn to their physicians for guidance regarding medical cannabis use, which has already entered mainstream medicine.

In the absence of studies examining the effects of medical cannabis in patients with rheumatic diseases, a position statement has been developed and published in the to help rheumatologists to offer pragmatic advice to their patient in a caring and empathetic way to ensure harm reduction. It was published online in The Journal of Rheumatology.

A copy of the statement can be found here.

Drug Shortage Notification

The Canadian Rheumatology Association would like to advise its members of the following reported drug shortage:

Drug Name: Shingrix – Herpes Zoster Vaccine

Expected Resolution of Shortage: December 31, 2018

Provinces Affected: National

Additional Comments: High demand for the drug coupled with the variable timing of supply shipments. Limited supply available of Shingrix 10s.

Status Update:

  • January 18, 2019 Update: High demand for the drug coupled with the variable timing of supply shipments. Re-supply is ongoing with current inventory on allocation.
  • Supply of Shingrix in the 10 dose package size were released on November 26 and are available under allocation – Read more
  • Limited supply of the 1 dose package size is anticipated to be available in mid-December – Read more