Winter 2020 (Volume 30, Number 4)

Update from the Therapeutics Committee

By Rosie Scuccimarri, MD, FRCPC

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The last nine months have been very busy for the Therapeutics Committee with many requests and tight deadlines responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee drafted and approved a number of position statements for the CRA, including one endorsing the ACR statement on COVID-19, another on practical recommendations and finally one on hydroxychloroquine supply. We supported a letter penned to Minister Patty Hajdu with regard to the hydroxychloroquine shortage. The committee endorsed a Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) practice point on the paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19. We continue to monitor ongoing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conjointly with the CRA Pediatric and Stakeholder Committees, the Therapeutics Committee drafted and approved the CRA position statement on access to citrate-free adalimumab, and we continue to actively follow this issue. A cannabidiol addendum was made to the Medical Cannabis position statement, which was approved by the CRA Board. The committee drafted a Medical Cannabis information sheet for patients and allied health professionals. It is currently being edited to the appropriate reading level for patients by an outside agency. Our committee is still working on a position statement on stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis. We have currently drafted and approved a position statement on the safety of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of rheumatic diseases, which should be circulated shortly.

I would like to thank the Therapeutics Committee members for their dedication over a particularly challenging year dealing with COVID-19. They have been engaged and responsive to a number of emerging and urgent issues in 2020, and their guidance and advocacy has benefitted not only CRA members but the wider rheumatology community.

Rosie Scuccimarri, MD, FRCPC
Chair, CRA Therapeutics Committee
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics,
McGill University
Pediatric Rheumatologist, Montreal Children's Hospital
Montreal, Quebec

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