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J Rheumatol. 2012 Sep;39(9):1875-9. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.120089. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Access to biologic therapies in Canada for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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McGill University, and Department of Pediatrics, Montreal Children's Hospital, 2300 Rue Tupper, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1P3, Canada.



To compare access to biologic therapies for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) across Canada, and to identify differences in provincial regulations and criteria for access.


Between June and August 2010, we compiled the provincial guidelines for reimbursement of biologic drugs for children with JIA and conducted a multicenter Canada-wide survey of pediatric rheumatologists to determine their experience with accessing biologic therapies for their patients.


There were significant difficulties accessing biologic treatments other than etanercept and abatacept for children. There were large discrepancies in the access criteria and coverage of biologic agents across provinces, notably with age restrictions for younger children.


Canadian children with JIA may not receive optimal internationally recognized "standard" care because pediatric coverage for biologic drugs through provincial formularies is limited and inconsistent across the country. There is urgent need for public policy to improve access to biologic therapies for these children to ensure optimal short-term and longterm health outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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