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Government of Ontario's Ministry of Health Approval of the Reimbursement of Rituxan (Rituximab) for the Treatment of Pemphigus


Government of Ontario's Ministry of Health Approval of the Reimbursement of Rituxan (Rituximab) for the Treatment of Pemphigus Vulgaris Announced

TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation (CPPF) applauds the Government of Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care decision to fund Rituxan (Rituximab) for the treatment of Pemphigus Vulgaris through the Ontario Public Drug Programs - Exceptional Access Program.  Rituxan has improved the lives of many patients with pemphigus. CPPF is pleased to have been involved in a process that resulted in more patients with this challenging condition granted access to Rituxan.

Pemphigus and pemphigoid are rare autoimmune diseases of the skin and/or mucous membranes that can be life threatening. In general, this spectrum of blistering diseases are very painful and even debilitating as patients need to wait weeks or months for standard therapies to take effect.  The standard treatment options are not always effective and often have numerous, complicating side-effects.  For pemphigus patients, and some pemphigoid patients, Rituxan is proving very effective.   Blistering and rashes stopped spreading and patients were able to stop daily oral doses of steroids.

"This is definitely a step in the right direction", said Dr. Neil Shear, Chair of the Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation's Medical Advisory Council.  "Rituxan, in our extensive experience, has been shown to be the safest, most effective and most economical treatment for immune blistering diseases. "

The Foundation strongly encourages other provinces and territories to follow the Government of Ontario's lead.  If successful, hundreds of patients will experience improved health outcomes.

For more information on the Ontario Public Drug Program's Exceptional Access Program's reimbursement criteria visit http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/drugs/eap_criteria.aspx (see pages 38-39).   

SOURCE Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation

For more information on the Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation or to learn more about the disease, visit www.pemphigus.ca and/or contact:

Dr. Neil Shear Head of Dermatology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Chair - Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation's Medical Advisory Council 416 480 4040 Public Relations Neil.Shear@sunnybrook.ca 

Leo Mieles Vice-Chair - Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation's Board of Directors leo.mieles@sympatico.ca or tel. 416 820 8156

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2013/13/c5581.html

CO: Canadian Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation ST: Ontario NI: HEA

-0- Aug/13/2013 14:36 GMT

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