- Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a painful, chronic inflammatory skin disease
- HUMIRA® (Adalimumab) is the first and only Health Canada-approved therapy for the treatment of adults living with
- HUMIRA® (adalimumab) now reimbursed for HS in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario
MONTREAL, QC, February 21, 2018 – AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global research and development-based biopharmaceutical company, today announced that Canadians diagnosed with hidradentis suppurativea (HS) living in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario now have public access to HUMIRA® (adalimumab).
HS is a chronic, systemic, immune-mediated skin disease which affects between 1 to 3% of the global population however the diagnosis is often delayed or the condition is misdiagnosed with the true prevalence unknown.1 HS is known to produce lesions in the skin that are inflamed (swollen), recurrent and chronic (lasting for an extended period of time). HS can have both a psychological and physical impact.
In general, HS has a greater impact on the quality of life of affected individuals compared to other dermatological conditions. 2 The average Canadian HS patient will see five doctors with over 17 visits spanning eight years before being diagnosed. HS is associated with intense pain, decreased mobility, and the deep-seated lesions (nodules or abscesses) may be accompanied by unpleasant odor and purulent drainage. The lesions are present under the arms, groin, and perianal area with the breasts being affected in female individuals. With time, healed lesions form scars which are sometimes extensive.3
Dr Afsaneh Alavi, dermatologist and Founder and past President of the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation said, “We applaud the decisions of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario to cover the first and only Health Canada approved treatment option for people living with HS. Having seen first-hand how HS impacts every aspect of a person’s life; nobody should have to endure this painful disease when effective treatment is available.”
“This is great news for HS patients living in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario,” says Kathryn Andrews-Clay, Executive Director of the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance. “Our recent report on the lived experiences of HS patients highlights the need for an effective treatment to help improve their quality of life. We hope that the rest of the country will quickly follow Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario’s leadership.”
Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager of AbbVie Canada added, “We are motivated and encouraged for people living with HS in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario. Enabling access to a much needed medication is extremely important for AbbVie in our mission to treat unmet medical needs. We are committed to partnering with payers across our country to ensure every Canadian with HS has equal access to our medication. “
HUMIRA resembles antibodies normally found in the body. It works by blocking TNF-α, a protein that, when produced in excess, plays a central role in the inflammatory responses of many immune-mediated diseases.
HUMIRA is one of the most comprehensively studied biologics available. The overall clinical database for HUMIRA spans 20 years across 14 indications globally (10 in Canada), including more than 100 clinical trials with more than 33,000 patients. HUMIRA is approved in 90 countries and used by more than 1 million patients worldwide.
Any medicines can have side effects. Like all medicines that affect the immune system, HUMIRA can cause serious side effects. Before initiation of, during and after treatment with HUMIRA, patients should be evaluated for active or inactive tuberculosis infection with a tuberculin skin test. For further information, please see the HUMIRA Product Monograph available at www.abbvie.ca.
About AbbVie Care
The AbbVie Care program is designed to provide a wide range of customized services including reimbursement and financial support, pharmacy services, lab work reminders and coordination, personalized education and ongoing disease management support throughout the treatment journey. For more information, consult www.abbviecare.ca.
AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.ca and www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvieCanada and @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
Important Safety Information4
HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that affects the immune system and can lower the body’s ability to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. People should be tested for TB before HUMIRA use and monitored for signs and symptoms of TB during therapy. People at risk of TB may be treated with medicine for TB before starting HUMIRA. Treatment with HUMIRA should not be
started in a person with an active infection, unless approved by a doctor. HUMIRA should be stopped if a person develops a serious infection. People should tell their doctor if they live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common, have had TB or hepatitis B, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores.
For people taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life- threatening if treated.
Other possible serious side effects with HUMIRA include hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus; allergic reactions; nervous system problems; blood problems; certain immune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome; liver problems; and new or worsening heart failure or psoriasis. The use of HUMIRA with other biologics DMARDS (e.g. anakinra or abatacept) or other TNF antagonists is not recommended. People using HUMIRA should not receive live vaccines.
Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions (redness, swelling, itching, pain or bruising), cough and cold symptoms, headache, rash, nausea, pneumonia, fever and abdominal pain.
HUMIRA is given by injection under the skin.
The benefits and risks of HUMIRA should be carefully considered before starting therapy.
This is not a complete list of the Important Safety Information for HUMIRA. For additional important safety information, please consult the HUMIRA Product Monograph1 at www.abbvie.ca
1 The Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation – www.hs-foundationcanada.org
2 Wolkenstein P, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;56(4):621-623.
3 The Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation – www.hs-foundationcanada.org
4 HUMIRA (adalimumab) Product Monograph. AbbVie Corporation. (December 5, 2017).
Eileen Murphy AbbVie Canada (514) 832-7788