Winter 2014 (Volume 24, Number 4)

Update from the Therapeutics Committee

By Shahin Jamal, BScPT, MD, FRCPC, MSc

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The CRA’s Therapeutics Committee has had another busy and productive year. We continue to work on guideline development and dissemination, with groups actively working on dissemination and translation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia guidelines, development of consensus statements for vasculitis and lupus, and submitted guidelines for management of spondyloarthropathies (SpA). There is a new group working on guidelines to inform management of rheumatic diseases in pregnancy. To try to streamline the guideline development process and ensure our methodology is up-to-date, we have liaised with expert guideline methodologists at McMaster University. We are hoping to utilize guidelines to support development of quality indicators, and to guide strategies like Choosing Wisely Canada.

In addition to guidelines, the Therapeutics Committee has been actively working with the government and pharmaceutical industry on issues surrounding drug shortages, particularly naproxen suspension for the pediatric population (see article). We have been actively following the changing Canadian landscape on use of medicinal marihuana and have published an editorial on medical marihuana access in Canada, with a needs assessment of the CRA membership to be published soon. We have also been keeping up-to-date with the progress of subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) and their arrival in Canada. A survey of CRA membership was conducted and a manuscript has been submitted for publication.

Based on activities of the past year, I have no doubt that Therapeutics Committee will continue to be an exciting and interesting committee to chair. Our mandate has expanded so much over the years, particularly in the area of guidelines, that it may become its own freestanding committee. I feel fortunate to have such enthusiastic colleagues that continue working hard to improve rheumatology in Canada. I would like to thank all of our passionate members for their time and dedication. I would also like to give particular thanks to Christine Charnock, and the CRA Board and Executive for their support. We are always looking for new members to become involved. Please email me at if you are interested.

Shahin Jamal, BScPT, MD, FRCPC, MSc
Vancouver General Hospital
Vancouver, British Columbia

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