It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Erica Nirenberg. Many of you will remember Erica for her kindness and diligence in arranging the room for monthly support group meetings. “She knitted and crocheted for many charitable organizations and kept Dr. Heathcote’s feet warm for many years with handmade slippers!. A truly sweet, generous woman.”
The Canadian PBC Society is excited to share that a new treatment option for PBC is on it’s way, thanks to the recent Canadian conditional approval of obeticholic acid, otherwise known as Ocaliva, or OCA. According to a recent release by Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Health Canada has issued a conditional Notice of Compliance for Ocaliva, which is indicated for the treatment of PBC, in combination with URSO, or as monotherapy for those who cannot tolerate URSO.
This is the first new treatment for PBC in 20 years. “I’m thrilled that another treatment has finally been approved. I have spoken to so many patients that have been waiting for other treatments to become available because URSO isn’t working for them,” said Gail Wright, Canadian PBC Society President. “Our community is so energized by this news, and we look forward to our members being able to manage their disease more effectively.”
We anticipate that patients will be able to receive access to OCA in a number of different ways, including private insurance, provincial pharmacare plans and compassionate support programs. We’ll be happy to provide more details as they come available. Read full press release
Starting in Halifax in May, 2017, the Canadian PBC Society met with government health policy experts, decision-makers, medical professionals, and PBC patients and their families to talk about the ongoing work to find a cure for PBC, the critical need for early diagnosis of PBC patients, treatment options and the implications of disease progression for patients and their families.