June 2021
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World Psoriasis Day Survey

We want to hear from you!

We’re partnering with the Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients and Unmasking Psoriasis on an initiative to support people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in the workplace. 
We want to learn about your experiences in the workforce to better understand your needs and priorities in regards to accommodation in the workplace, access to private and public health benefits, and the impact of psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis on your work experience. We’ll be considering the current context of the pandemic and how adaptations to create more flexible workplace policies to accommodate virtual work may have helped or hindered our patient community.
Share your workplace experiences with us by Tuesday, August 3, 2021 and your name will be entered into a draw for a tablet.  We’ll report on the findings of this survey on World Psoriasis Day—October 29th—so stay tuned!
Your responses will be kept anonymous and confidential and will be used to help us create resources, information, and advocacy related to the needs of people with psoriatic disease in the workplace.
Start your survey today!

Shared Decision Making:
Working with Your Doctor to Make Treatment Decisions.

This month, we connected with Dr. Jerry Tan, a world-renowned specialist in dermatology and medical director of the Healthy Image Center to discuss how patients can work with their doctors to make educated treatment decisions.

“Shared treatment decision-making is engagement in the decision process by two experts—the patient and the physician,” explained Dr. Tan. “The patient is the expert of their own personal circumstances, while the physician is the expert based on their experience of managing the disease and their knowledge of treatment options.”
Click here for more information

Wellness Corner

Get to know Pso Campaign!
Having psoriasis (Pso) and/or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a life-long experience that can sometimes feel like a roller-coaster ride. Symptoms wax and wane, response to treatment changes and new things pop up just when you think you’ve got it under control. 

People who live with Pso and PsA become experts in managing their conditions over the years, but questions still arise. We launched the Get to Know Pso campaign to learn from each other and to address common questions that members of our diverse community have. Though everyone is different, hearing and learning from each other is exactly what our network is about!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign by sending in questions and comments! 

We’ve been sharing Q&A and information throughout June on social media – in case you missed it, you can read about the topics we’ve covered so far on our blog.

Read our blog here

As you know, many of CPN’s board members have lived with psoriasis for decades. Check out our Get to know CPN videos where they share their experiences and explain why a network like CPN is important to them.

Watch now

Just because our Get to Know Pso campaign is wrapping up, doesn’t mean the conversation stops here! 

Be sure to follow  Facebook | Twitter | InstagramLinkedIn to keep it going!

This project was made possible by educational grants from:

Thank you to our sponsors!

What's Happening at CPN

Don't miss the opportunity to tell researchers the questions you want solved about psoriasis.

Skin Patients | Caregivers | Healthcare Providers | Researchers: Be sure to fill out the Skin Canada Survey TODAY! 

The Survey Deadline is coming soon, on July 9th!
Take the Survey Now!

Policy and Advocacy 

To advance our goal of improving the lives of people affected by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in Canada, CPN is committed to providing input through government and other relevant consultations on issues that matter to our community.

Check out our Policy and Advocacy section on our website for our most recent posts. 

Thank you to everyone who helps to inform our submissions by responding to CPN surveys. 

Biologics and Biosimilars

Updates to biosimilar policies in Canada 

Recently, several provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Quebec) have implemented (or announced) changes to their public drug programs to expand access to biosimilar drugs, as patents on reference biologic drugs expire. This means that individuals who are enrolled in public drug programs in these provinces and who use specific biologics (i.e., etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab) for conditions including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have been (or will be) switched to a biosimilar version of the drug (with few exceptions) in discussion with their doctor. 

What are the most current biosimilar policy updates regarding psoriatic disease?

British Columbia: BC’s Biosimilar Initiative which was launched in 2019 is being expanded to include adalimumab (i.e., Humira®) biosimilars. During the switch period between April 7th to October 6, 2021, the BC Biosimilar Initiative will continue to offer adalimumab and its biosimilars including Amgevita™, Hadlima®, Hulio®, Hyrimoz®, and Idacio®; however, to maintain PharmaCare coverage, patients who are affected by this policy should obtain a new prescription before the end of the switch period and discuss the biosimilar options with their healthcare provider. BC will also be expanding its program to include Brenzys® and Erelzi™ etanercept biosimilars. For more information click here 

Alberta: The Alberta Biosimilar Initiative has expanded its policy to include the following adalimumab (Humira®) biosimilar drugs: Amgevita™, Hadlima®, Hulio®, Hyrimoz®, and Idacio®. To maintain coverage through the Alberta government-sponsored drug plan, adult patients who are enrolled in the program and currently taking Humira® should contact their healthcare professional to discuss switching to a biosimilar version by May 1, 2022. For more information click here.

New Brunswick: A new Biosimilar initiative has been launched in the province which involves switching patients enrolled in the New Brunswick Drug Plan from originator biologics to their biosimilars. During the switch period of April 21st and November 30th, 2021, transition to biosimilar drugs must be made to maintain coverage under the New Brunswick Drug Plans. Adalimumab (i.e., Humira®) biosimilars include Amgevita™, Hadlima®, Hulio®, Idacio®, Hyrimoz®. Etanercept (i.e., Enbrel®) biosimilars include Brenzys® and Erelzi®. Infliximab (i.e., Remicade® ) biosimilars include Inflectra®, Renflexis™, Avsola™. For more information click here.

Quebec: It has been announced that starting April 12th, 2022, Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) will only cover biosimilar drugs, with exceptions. As this initiative is newly emerging, more information will be shared once available. 
For resources on talking to your doctor about treatment decisions, visit

Background: Biologics and Biosimilars

Biologics are a group of drugs used for the treatment of many inflammatory conditions including moderate-to-severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Often prescribed when traditional systemic drugs don’t work for the individual, biologics work by blocking the immune system’s response to inflammatory pathways and are administered through intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection.

Biosimilars are biologic drugs that have been demonstrated to be highly similar to a biologic drug that was already authorized for sale (known as the reference biologic drug). Biosimilars become available when the patent on the reference biologic expires. Due to the size, complexity, and natural variability of biologic drugs, unlike generic drugs, which are a chemically synthesized small molecules, a biosimilar can be shown to be similar, but not identical to its reference biologic drug. Biosimilars are manufactured to the same regulatory standards as other biologic drugs and Health Canada uses the same rigorous regulatory standards for quality, efficacy and safety as for all other biologic drugs. There are no expected differences in efficacy and safety between a biosimilar and the originator biologic drug.
For more information visit Health Canada Biosimilar Biologic Drugs.
This article was written and translated by Linda Mardiros, M.D. Candidate, Class of 2023, University of Ottawa.

What's New in Canada 

Easy access to a range of treatment options is essential for people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Here are some updates since our last email about what's happening in Canada:
  • Rinvoq® (upadacitinib) has been approved by Health Canada for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis.
  • Health Canada has approved the use of BRYHALI™ (Halobetasol Propionate Lotion 0.01% w/w), a topical corticosteroid indicated for plaque psoriasis.

These are important steps in ensuring new treatment options are available to all Canadians.

Articles of Interest 

In each newsletter, we'll share a list of psoriasis-related links we think are interesting. Have you read anything you think we should share with the Network? Share your links with us on FacebookTwitter, or via email.

June Links:

*These are links to external news sites, for your interest. The Canadian Psoriasis Network does not necessarily support all views expressed in these external resources.

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