Patients and their caregivers encouraged to lend their voice to letter
VANCOUVER, July 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Maureen McGrath, RN, Nurse Continence
Advisor and Chair of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Nurse Continence
Advisors (CNCA), Jacqueline Cahill, Executive Director, The Canadian
Continence Foundation (TCCF), Dr. Peter Pommerville and other leading
urologists in the province are encouraging citizens in British Columbia
who suffer from overactive bladder, and their caregivers, to join a
critical advocacy campaign called 'It's Urgent' - www.itsurgent.ca.
An estimated 2.9 million Canadians suffer from overactive bladder (OAB)i, a chronic medical condition marked by the sudden, compelling desire to
pass urine.ii This sudden urge to urinate, which is difficult to suppress, can lead
to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence)iii and greatly impacts patients' lives. Many patients suffering with the
symptoms of OAB limit social activityiv, experience loss of control and self-esteemv and battle with depression.vi
Based on The Canadian Continence Foundation Impact of Incontinence in Canada report, urinary incontinence (a symptom of OAB) is cited as the "tipping
point" in the decision by caregivers to place elderly family members
into long-term care facilities.vii
Overactive bladder is treatable and upon diagnosis, lifestyle and
behaviour modifications such as fluid management strategies are first
used to manage the symptoms.viii In many cases behavioural techniques alone might not be enough to
manage the symptoms related to OAB, in which case prescription
medication may be required. In fact studies show that the chances of
treatment success are better when behavioural techniques and drug
therapies are used in combination.ix
Currently in British Columbia, there is only one medication for OAB that
is covered by MSP (Medical Services Plan) through B.C. PharmaCare.x In every other province across Canada, patients with OAB have access to
a range of medications.xi Because OAB and its treatment affect individuals so differently, it is
critical that both physicians and patients have access to a number of
"Without proper treatment, patients suffering with OAB symptoms
experience a great impact on their quality of life including limiting
their social activity, sleep disruption, experiencing depression and
affecting sexual intimacy," said Dr. Peter Pommerville, Urologist,
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Urological Sciences at The
University of British Columbia. "These patients feel isolated and often
suffer in silence. Offering choice when it comes to OAB treatment
should be a non-negotiable priority of the B.C. government."
OAB medications in B.C. are currently undergoing a class review. Both
the CNCA and TCCF agree this review represents an important time for
the public and medical community to advocate for meaningful change on
behalf of B.C. OAB patients and their families.
"Managing the potentially debilitating OAB symptoms is a challenge for
most of my patients; having to tell them that they are only eligible
for coverage from MSP for the one medication that may cause significant
side effects is very difficult," said Maureen McGrath, Nurse Continence
Advisor. "Patients in British Columbia should not have to pay out of
pocket to be able to access these newer medications. The time is now to
"Overactive Bladder is not an inevitable consequence of aging and
therefore can, and should, be treated," said Jacqueline Cahill,
Executive Director, The Canadian Continence Foundation. "If the medical
services plan coverage for alternative OAB medications were available
to the appropriate citizens in B.C., it would not only offer renewed
hope for the treatment of OAB symptoms, it would also demonstrate the
province's commitment to help some of B.C.'s most vulnerable patients,
including the elderly, effectively manage a difficult condition and
remain independent longer."
It's Urgent Campaign
A province-wide campaign, 'It's Urgent,' (www.itsurgent.ca) has been launched in British Columbia, providing patients and their
caregivers with the information they need regarding OAB and the current
challenges in the province.
Patients and their caregivers are encouraged to lend their voice to the
campaign by writing a letter to their local Member of the Legislative
Assembly to call on the new Minister of Health to fund more OAB
medications. More information, letter templates and simple instructions
are available at www.itsurgent.ca.
The 'It's Urgent' campaign has been generously supported by Astellas
Pharma Canada, Inc.
i Irwin DE, Milsom I, et al. Population-Based Survey of Urinary
Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, and Other Lower Urinary Track
Symptoms in Five Countries: Results of the EPIC Study. Euro Urol. 2006; Supplements 6:4-9.
ii Yamaguchi O, et al. Clinical Guidelines for Overactive Bladder. International Journal of Urology. 2009. 16(2):126-142.
iii Yamaguchi O, et al. Clinical Guidelines for Overactive Bladder. International Journal of Urology. 2009. 16(2):126-142.
iv Brown J, et al. Urge Incontinence: The Patient's Perspective. Journal of Women's Health 1998; 7:1263-1269.
v Brown J, et al. Urge Incontinence: The Patient's Perspective. Journal of Women's Health 1998; 7:1263-1269.
vi Stewart WF, et al. Prevalence and Burden of Overactive Bladder in the
United States. World J Urol 2003; 20:327-336.
vii The Canadian Continence Foundation. Impacts of Incontinence in Canada. http://www.canadiancontinence.ca/pdf/impacts-of-incontinence.pdf. Accessed June 25, 2013.
viii Mayo Clinic. OAB Treatment and drugs http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/overactive-bladder/DS00827/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs. Accessed June 25, 2013.
ix Burgio K. et al. Combined Behavioral and Drug Therapy for Urge
Incontinence in Older Women. J Am. Geriatr Soc. 2000.
x Astellas internal document - reimbursement landscape
xi Astellas internal document - reimbursement landscape
SOURCE: BC Chapter of the Canadian Nurse Continence Advisors
For further information:
For more information, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Pommerville, Maureen McGrath, Jacqueline Cahill or a local patient, please contact:
Tel: 416-425-9143 x17