Arthritis research shows better management more important than new drugs

Nov 26, 2008

Although there has been an increase in the number of new arthritis treatments in recent years, the best results will come from more effective use of the drugs we have. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy investigates the effectiveness of available arthritis drugs and concludes that better management is the most important factor.

Isidoro González-Alvaro from the Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Spain, led a team of researchers who studied the treatment of 789 patients over four years between 2000 and 2004. He said, "Our work shows that the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis at tertiary hospitals in Spain has improved from the year 2000. It is likely that better management of available drugs, mainly methotrexate, has been learned during the last decade - along with the clinical development of most biologic agents."

The management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has changed a great deal over the last 10 years. The development of biologic therapies, as well as the rigorous clinical trials that have demonstrated their effectiveness, have probably contributed to this change. However, according to González-Alvaro, "In our study, we did not observe the amazing halt of radiological progression described in clinical trials."

When used outside trials, the effectiveness of new drugs may differ, since patients included in clinical trials are on average younger, have less comorbidity, and show greater disease activity than real-life patients. In order to ascertain the real-life effectiveness of new RA medication, the authors studied RA patients in terms of disease activity, disability and radiological progression in the period after the Spanish launch of Leflunomide and the TNF antagonists. They write, "The most relevant finding of our work is that disease activity in RA has improved, independently of the availability of new therapies, in patients with severe and mild disease."

The authors conclude, "It is clear that we need specific markers of RA severity that allow us to select adequate patients for early biologic treatment in order to improve their therapeutic response, as well as their functional outcome. These tools may also help to improve cost-effectiveness of these drugs avoiding unnecessary prescriptions."

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Amgen outlines growth plan, rules out break-up

Oct 28, 2014

Biotechnology company Amgen, facing pressure from activist investor Daniel Loeb, Tuesday unveiled plans to implement deeper job cuts, lift shareholder payouts and increase revenues to more than $20 billion in 2015.

Some anti-inflammatory drugs affect more than their targets

Aug 21, 2014

Researchers have discovered that three commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, alter the activity of enzymes within cell membranes. Their finding suggests that, if taken at higher-than-approved ...

Neutron beams reveal how antibodies cluster in solution

May 19, 2014

Scientists have used small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and neutron spin-echo (NSE) techniques for the first time to understand how monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), a class of targeted biopharmaceuticals ...

Smart hydrogels deliver medicine on demand

Jan 15, 2014

(Phys.org) —Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed a "smart" hydrogel that can deliver medicine on demand, in response to mechanical force.

Recommended for you

New hope for rare disease drug development

3 hours ago

Using combinations of well-known approved drugs has for the first time been shown to be potentially safe in treating a rare disease, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the open access Orphanet Journal of ...

Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

6 hours ago

Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus.

Migraine may double risk for facial paralysis

6 hours ago

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

Anti-diabetic drug springs new hope for tuberculosis patients

13 hours ago

A more effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB) could soon be available as scientists have discovered that Metformin (MET), a drug for treating diabetes, can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.