The annual ACR conference is considered the world’s premier rheumatology conference. This year’s offering was delivered online and has been renamed ACR Convergence.
On November 24th, 2020 select CARE™ Rheumatology Faculty met virtually to discuss ACR Convergence content, examined from a Canadian perspective.
Building off a similar meeting at ACR 2019, faculty focused on the impact of novel agents and approaches to treating psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Discussion centred on drug approval and subsequent funding in Canada and impacts on patient outcome.
Key Takeaways from Discussions with Rheumatology Faculty and Patient Advocacy
There are gaps in currently available treatments for PsA:
With current therapies, many patients experience residual pain and fail to achieve minimal disease activity (MDA).
Access to innovation is needed:
Approval of innovative agents with different modes of action (MOA) is needed. While multiple agents targeting TNF have been approved in Canada, fewer choices that target JAK inhibition, IL-17 and IL-23 are available to rheumatology clinicians.
Currently available oral treatments for PsA have an efficacy that is generally lower than TNFi’s, or require use of methotrexate or other csDMARDs for optimal efficacy.
UPA as monotherapy in PsA is considered a significant differentiator.
There are concerns regarding timely access to innovative new therapies in Canada:
Promising new therapies will soon be available for PsA, but how and when new agents will be funded in Canada remains an area of speculation.