News & Updates2018-08-27T16:12:11+00:00

News & Updates

CRA Updated Statement on COVID-19 – March 17, 2020

Dear CRA Members,

The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly and there is still a paucity of evidence surrounding this emerging condition. The CRA, in addition to endorsing the ACR statement on this subject, would like to direct your attention to the EULAR and PReS statements (links below).

We have provided a few important points from these statements to help guide you through this uncertainty. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as new evidence emerges or if expert consensus changes. It is also important that you continue to familiarize yourself with your own local and provincial recommendations.

Besides social distancing and hand hygiene recommendations:

  1. Patients with rheumatic diseases should continue their medications.
  2. Patients with rheumatic diseases in isolation or in quarantine (without infectious symptoms) should continue their medications.
  3. In patients with rheumatic diseases on corticosteroids, these should NOT be stopped and may require adjustment in the face of an infection.
  4. If the immunocompromised rheumatic disease patient should develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath, they should seek medical attention and advise them to mention that they are immunocompromised.It is understood that physicians have their own threshold for the interruption of therapy during an infection balancing the risk of disease flare and serious […]

CRA Updated Statement on COVID-19 – March 13, 2020

At this time, and given the paucity of evidence surrounding this emerging condition, the CRA is endorsing the ACR statement on this subject. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required. It is also important that you familiarize yourself with your own local and provincial recommendations.

Listen to Around the Rheum ♫ – the Official Podcast of the CRA

Welcome to Around the Rheum – the official podcast of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA). Now available to listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, or your web browser!

Our goal is to share a Canadian perspective within the world of rheumatology through stories, in-depth subject matter features, clinical advice, interviews and more.

Episode One – Medical Cannabis

In our inaugural episode, we interview Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, the lead author of the CRA’s position statement on Medical Cannabis (published in 2019).

Join our host, Dr. Daniel Ennis, as we unpack this position statement and dive into the future of Medical Cannabis from a uniquely Canadian perspective.


Did You Know: You can claim podcasts as a scanning activity under the Section 2 MOC Program for 0.5 credits per podcast. Click here to learn more.

Drug Shortage Notification

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

Drug Name: CHLOROQUINE DIPHOSPHATE                                                                                   

Date Shortage Reported: July 2019                                          

Expected Resolution of Shortage: No resolution expected. Officially termed an ‘Extended Disruption.’

Provinces Affected: All

Additional Comments: 

While being called an ‘extended disruption’, this is really a discontinuation as the manufacturer (Teva) plans to discontinue it in Canada.

Some members and patients may still be able to access if local pharmacy has shelf stock.

Canadian Rheumatology Association Updated Position Statement on Biosimilars

The Canadian Rheumatology Association has released an updated position statement on biosimilars.

Previously known as Subsequent Entry Biologics (SEBs), biosimilars are drugs demonstrated to be highly similar to a biologic drug that is already authorized for sale (known as the reference biologic drug). It is acknowledged that evidence for the risk/benefit ratio of the use of biosimilars in the management of rheumatic diseases is rapidly accruing. The CRA encourages rheumatologists to provide the best care for individual patients and be fiscally responsible for the benefit of society as a whole. Rheumatologists should consider choosing the most cost-effective product when there is a choice available between an originator biologic and a biosimilar and must be mindful of cost savings. It is imperative that any substitution or transition/change to an approved biosimilar should result in no additional cost to the patient. The CRA recognizes the administrative challenges that patients may experience in accessing a biologic agent and therefore strongly encourages industry to provide and/or maintain patient support programs.

A copy of the statement can be found here.