National charity calls on other provinces to make more options available
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – March 5, 2018 –
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is recognizing the Government of Prince Edward Island for taking decisive action to protect and advance the interests of Prince Edward Islanders living with Crohn’s disease.
Following an update to the PEI Pharmacare Formulary effective February 15, 2018, the biologic Remicade
will be covered for Crohn’s disease on the same basis as other treatment options including biosimilars. This decision protects patients’ treatment stability by ensuring they will be able to remain on a treatment that works for them and also allows patients who are considering starting a new treatment to choose, in consultation with their doctor, the best option for them.
“The 250,000 Canadians living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis need access to the widest range of treatment options,” said Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “By mandating patient and doctor choice in treatments for Crohn’s, and not forcing the switching of treatments, Prince Edward Island is setting an important example for the rest of the country.”
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada strongly supports the introduction of safe, effective and lower-cost treatment options like biosimilars, but remains concerned about patients being forced to switch away from medications that already work for them, and that doctors are being forced to prescribe one treatment over another on the basis of cost alone. Treatments for Canadians living with Crohn’s or colitis are not one size fits all. Each patient will respond differently to a course of treatment, and a treatment that works well for one person may not work for another.
“It is important that Prince Edward Islanders living with Crohn’s disease have access to a range of treatment options,” said Dr. Jennifer Jones, gastroenterologist. “Before recommending any treatment, doctors must account for a number of considerations, including a patient’s suitability. These important decisions should not be made on the basis of cost alone.”
Until cures are found for these debilitating diseases, we must continue to celebrate new and innovative breakthroughs in treatment. Working together with government and industry, we can help advance new treatments and ensure all Crohn’s and colitis patients across Canada have access to them. To this end, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada calls on other provinces to follow Prince Edward Island’s lead in protecting patient and doctor choice and mandating no forced switch.
About Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
Crohn's and Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these diseases. We are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn's and colitis research in the world, investing $115 million in research to date. We are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn's and colitis (the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease) through research, patient programs, advocacy and awareness. Visit crohnsandcolitis.ca
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
416-920-5035 ext. 215