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Advocacy

Have your say on key issues of concern for people with arthritis in your community, and across the country.
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Take Action on Arthritis During COVID 19

We actively champion the needs of Canadians affected by arthritis, capturing the attention of decision-makers at both the Federal and Provincial levels to drive positive policy changes and increase awareness and understanding of arthritis in Canada.

The most important part of our advocacy is YOU. We can only be credible and effective advocates for the needs of people with arthritis if we have the backing and involvement of grassroots advocates at the community level. People like you. So speak up and be heard!

UPDATE: Advocacy and the Coronavirus

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we are working to support the immediate demands of this public health emergency while continuing to advocate to ensure that the health needs of people with arthritis are met.

  • Hydroxychloroquine drug supply

    In partnership with other arthritis and rheumatic disease patient organizations, we co-signed a letter to Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Health, calling on the government to ensure supply of the drug for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus patients in Canada, in support of the position of the Canadian Rheumatology Association.

    Update:  Thanks to the combined efforts of governments, industry, professional associations and community stakeholders including the Arthritis Society, the supply issues are resolved and patients requiring hydroxychloroquine should not encounter supply challenges.  We will continue to monitor this product and other potential drug shortages. 

  • Medical cannabis as an essential service

    In partnership with other patient organizations, we successfully advocated to have the federal government designate medical cannabis as an essential service to ensure patients who rely on it to manage their arthritis symptoms would have uninterrupted access. In response, on April 2nd medical cannabis was included in the federal government’s Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Joint replacement backlog

    Canada was already well behind the stated goal of completing joint replacement surgeries within six months, but now they are among the many elective surgeries that have been impacted by COVID, affecting thousands of Canadians. We are calling for federal and provincial levels of government to coordinate on a solution to fast-track this backlog as hospitals begin to resume elective surgeries. This news article explores the issue.

  • Support for Canadian Charities

    Like many businesses, charities are also feeling the impact of the closure of all workplaces and the important focus on COVID-19.  We joined Imagine Canada in a letter to the federal government asking for a Sector Resilience Grant Program funding for the charitable sector to help us to continue to offer patients what they need to stay healthy and out of the healthcare system. To learn more and get involved visit https://imaginecanada.ca/en/covid19-advocacy.

    As part of the Health Charities Coalition, the Arthritis Society and the arthritis research community have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking for specific funding to help support health charities continue to fund important research projects. 

  • Funding continuity for research hospitals

    Canada’s academic research hospitals are at significant risk from a sudden loss of funding due to COVID-19 and its impacts for funders (external charities and industry), which threatens research into critical issues like arthritis. We have co-signed a request to the Government of Canada to include research institutes under the eligibility guidelines for the 75% wage subsidy program.

    Update:  We are pleased to announce that on Friday, May 15th Prime Minister Trudeau announced support for research staff including eligibility for Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy program.
     

  • Biosimilars

    We continue to engage with various provinces and monitor their progress towards implementation of biosimilars initiatives. Of note, implementation in Alberta has been postponed from July 1, 2020 to January 15, 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • COVID-19 Information
    Visit our COVID-19 web page for the latest answers about COVID-19 and arthritis, including considerations for people prescribed with inflammatory arthritis medication currently under investigation as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

What can I do to help?

Even during this period of pandemic response, there are a lot of things you can do from home to help advance the needs of people with arthritis!

Take Action - Geo Targeted

Here are some of the issues that affect people with arthritis. Click on the campaigns to see how you can help.

  Take Action

Issues Icon  Issues

 

Joint Replacement Wait Times

Arthritis is the leading cause of joint replacement surgeries and wait times have gotten worse every year since 2015, dramatically impacting quality of life for too many Canadians.  

Read More

National Pharmacare

Canada needs to implement a national pharmacare program that provides equitable and affordable access to medically necessary therapies.  

Read More

Medical Cannabis

Arthritis patients need access to medical cannabis that is tax-free and available through pharmacies. 

Read More


Get Involved! 

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Arthritis Society’s advocacy efforts, click on the issue and campaign details above for more information, or sign up to become an advocacy volunteer!