Canada has one of the highest rates of Ulcerative Colitis in the World. A new breakthrough treatment has just been approved by Health Canada
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Sherri Dmyterko: Like thousands of Canadians, Jennifer Kelly lives with the chronic and painful inflammatory bowel disease known as Ulcerative Colitis. A condition that has changed her life. Jennifer Kelly: I got up in the morning and it was a bad day. I phoned my boss and I said that I couldn't come into work. Going to a public event, I had to really think hard about what sort of facilities where there, if I would be able to go, if I would be able to make it to the bathroom. There were times even I remember going to get groceries and I would make my husband come with me because you get your cart filled up and you have to go to the bathroom. Sherri Dmyterko: Canada has one of the highest incidences of Ulcerative colitis in the world. There is no known cause but genetic factors and an abnormal immune response to infections are suspected to be involved. Dr. Richard Fedorak is a Gastroenterology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Dr. Richard Fedorak: So Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the large intestine. It results in patients having abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, urgency, so they have to go to bathroom right now, and rectal bleeding along with the diarrhea. Sherri Dmyterko: Medication is an important aspect to controlling the disease and new advancements in treatment are helping patients get back to normal living. Recently, Health Canada approved the use of REMICADE for treating moderate to severe Ulcerative Colitis. Its the only biologic approved in Canada for treating moderate to severe Ulcerative Colitis. Dr. Richard Fedorak: We were involved in the initial clinical trials for Ulcerative Colitis, and those clinical trials have demonstrated that 60% of people who are failing other treatments for their Ulcerative Coliti, can go into remission with REMICADE. Jennifer Kelly: REMICADE for the treatment for Ulcerative Colitis is a big breakthrough. I think a lot of people where in the position where I was, where the existing drugs just weren't working or the side effects where a little bit too much for them to bear. So I think that now that we have another option for treating Ulcerative Colitis, I think it's a great news. Sherri Dmyterko: To ensure safe and convenient access to treatment, Schering Canada, the Canadian distributor of REMICADE established a network of infusion clinics and communities across Canada, at no cost to patients. The Remicade Infusion Network provides one-on-one care in a comfortable environment outside of a hospital setting. Specially trained healthcare practitioners, administer, monitor, and assist the patient during each infusion. For more information about Ulcerative Colitis and treatment options, speak with your family doctor or a physician who specializes in gastrointestinal diseases. Call the Gastroenterologist. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.