On May 21, 2019 Health Canada released a MedEffect Notice advising of a risk of serious drug-induced liver injury, at times resulting in acute liver failure and requiring a transplant for patients using ACTEMRA. It is an intravenous and subcutaneous drug prescribed for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Giant Cell Arteritis, Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Medical practitioners are being advised to discontinue use in patients with hepatic impairment and to test liver enzymes before and during treatment.
The FDA in the United States is currently under scrutiny for not reacting fast enough to the post-market evidence of harm caused by ACTEMRA. This StatNews article summarizes the issue.
Although the FDA is being criticized for inaction, they acted two years sooner than Health Canada, who is just now releasing this MedEffect notice.
Patients and parents of patients should be educated about the risks associated with ACTEMRA, especially when the treated condition is not colloquially associated with the liver. Arthritis is one of the more common ailments seen in the natural health industry with many successful products that have helped Canadians reverse the condition completely.
Changes to the regulation of natural health products will result in the recommendation of more side effect-laden products and the suppression of health-supportive natural options. The relative safety of natural health products is a leading reason NHPPA proposes the enactment of the Charter of Health Freedom. NHPs help manage or eliminate the pain associated with conditions like arthritis without undue risk of further damage to the body.
Help NHPPA continue to fight for your right to treat your body naturally.