A presentation at the 2015 annual European Congress of Rheumatology meeting emphasized how creating electronic medical records (EMRs) for each patient and amassing “big data” derived from those records can help achieve personalized medicine.
Biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) were found to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in a large meta-analysis of patients with arthritis, suggesting that these economic benefits may go a long way toward balancing the high cost of these drugs.
Biologics now seen safer than previously thought By Phoebe Starr Madrid, Spain—The 2013 European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) guidelines for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were released for the first time at the 2013 EULAR annual meeting by Josef S. Smolen, MD, Head, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, and Head, Second Medical Department, Hietzing Hospital, Vienna, Austria. Dr Smolen was quick to point out that the 2013 version is not writ in stone and will not be until it is published later this year.
By Phoebe Starr Madrid, Spain—The first randomized, controlled, head-to-head comparison of 2 anti–tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents showed similar efficacy and safety for adalimumab (Humira) and for abatacept (Orencia) in the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As a result of the AMPLE (Abatacept Versus Adalimumab Comparison in Biologic-Naive RA Subjects with Background Methotrexate) trial, rheumatologists can be comfortable prescribing either drug to patients with RA, experts say.
Conventional DMARD Regimen Comparable to Biologic, but Patient’s Response Faster with the Biologic Regimen
By Phoebe Starr Madrid, Spain—A 3-drug regimen of methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine was as effective as a combination of etanercept (Enbrel) and methotrexate, and was $10,200 cheaper annually for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who failed to respond to methotrexate, according to a study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism and published online concurrently.
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