Being the squeeky wheel worked for me!

The old saying of the squeeky wheel gets the most oil. I tried it, I whinged I whinned I went on about every ache and pain and how my PsA affects my life at my recent Rheumy appt. I had gone past the stage of caring about be polite. It is terrible that I had to behave this way and go to these extremes just so my Rhuemy listens to me so that he can realise the full extent of my illness and look at another alternative medication.

At least I get to try a different type of medication and will start on Embrel in a few weeks once my approval goes through.

I am from the land down under and we do have a different system as many pharmacuticals are subsided by our Government and others you have to meet the right criteria before they can be Rx. Biologicals are meds that you can't get until afer failing other treatments and it has to affect extend over most of the body. I do know the doctors are not forthcoming with information about exactly what the criteria is. Cost is a big factor.

I am very grateful that I live in a country that does provide assistance with the cost of medications it is just unfortunate we have to wait until this disease gets this bad before this help is available.

I have read good and bad things with biologicals. I am hoping this will help me. I am at least prepared to give it a go.

I am so glad for you bella! I wish you the best of luck with it!

Hi Andrew,

I too am in AUS and have gone down the roller coater ride of failed meds to finally arrive at biologics. Luckily my Rheumy is very forthcoming about the qualifiaction process.

1. You must tried and failed at least 3 different treatments. Methotrexate, Sulphasalzine(sp?) and Arava being the usual ones.

2. It must affect either 4 major joints (knees and such) or 20 small joints (fingers and toes)

3. your bloodwork must show inflammation in with either your CRP or ESR being higher than acceptable.

I too started on Embrel, it was effective, but not effective enough. So after 18months on it and not seeing the results we were hopiong for I am now taking SImponi. The big seller in making the change for me is that Simponi is only once a month as opposed to once a week with Embrel. I have been on Simponi for a year now and although I still havfe hard times, it is much better that what it used to be.

Good luck with the Embrel. I hope it works for you. :)

Hi all, I’m in Aus too - and the squeaky wheel thing worked for me too.

Not about my aches and pains, but that I’d have to quit my job (nowhere near retirement age - would lose the house etc with a 3 yo).

To anyone in Aus who is trying to go down this path it is worth adding to Louise’s criteria that there is an additional trick to number 3 (raised ESR and or CRP) they dont tell you about - your ESR and CRP can be within the acceptable range IF you are on long term steroids.

Not a nice way to get to biologics, but there aren’t lots of options here. I gave up and started paying for my own, once the Rhuemy saw they worked he relented and organized PBS.

Enbrel is my very close friend!

I am so sorry for you Aussies! (Hope that is an acceptable term) The Australian criteria for biologics is horrifying! Hope the Enbrel works well for you, Bella. It has been working well for me. I just want to warn that you will still have flares! Hopefully, your doc will manage those with care. Wishing you the best!

It is sad that we are unable to take a preventative approach and move to the Biologics BEFORE the extra joints are effected and damaged! Eg 20 small joints is ridiculous, it only takes one small joint to prevent someone from being able to walk or hold things properly and could effect them from being able to do full employment!

Surely a system which gauges the effect of pain and disability rather than this would be more humane or have an option to have the biologics covered with private health insurance would make sense!

Thanks for putting the qualifying criteria out there, it is very difficult to find this information online and it is good to understand the options for treatment before heading to the rheumy.

It is nice to know there are others from Aus on this site and know the difficulties we face in getting biologicals.
Those from other parts of the world, thanks for your good wishes.