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Sarilumab (Kevzara®) is now approved in Canada to treat moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis
Health Canada has approved a new treatment for Canadians with moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Sarilumab (Kevzara®) was issued its Notice of Compliance on January 12, 2017. Click here to view Health Canada’s Summary Basis of Decision.
Sarilumab (Kevzara®), an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, has been approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate reponse or intolerance to one or more biologic or non-biologic Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).
Now that psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is viewed as its own disease entity and no longer as a relative of rheumatoid arthritis, trends in PsA care have started to change. Methotrexate has become a first-line treatment for PsA patients, and at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting this week, the spotlight was on new disease modifying antirheumatic agents (DMARDs) for PsA. According to Dr. Laura Coates, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom: “It is quite an exciting time for psoriatic arthritis because we are getting new drugs that are specific for PsA. A lot of the newer drugs focus on the Il-17 pathway, which is a different part of the patient’s immune system (than what previous medications targeted) and which seems to be particularly important for psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and spondylitis arthritis.”
Today at the ACR annual meeting, attendees at a symposium on the benefits of exercise heard presenters encourage arthritis patients to include physical activity into their treatment, something that was unheard of at a meeting like this 20 years ago.
Dr. Vilet Vlieland, Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, said it’s important for an experienced therapist to implement tailor-made exercise programs for arthritis patients, consisting of routine and planned activities, monitored by regular assessments.
An arthritis ‘pacemaker’ is on the horizon. The device is a tiny electronic implant fitted under the skin near the collarbone. It works by sending electrical pulses to the vagus nerve. When the vagus nerve is stimulated by the electric pulse, it sends a signal from the brain to key organs such as the spleen and triggers a decrease in the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that help regulate the immune system and can cause inflammation in joints.
The arthritis ‘pacemaker’ is currently being tested in the Netherlands with people who live with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Scientists found that the use of electrical pulse can have a similar positive effect on RA without the side effects of medications. The medical device should be available in the United Kingdom by 2020. A patient who took part in the pilot study said: “I have my life back, like before I got arthritis.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Clare Jacklin of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society cautions: “The disease is different in different people. This new device may well be impactful for some patients dependent on their disease profile.”
What are your thoughts? Would you use the arthritis ‘pacemaker’? Continue reading
The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has published updated recommendations on the management of fibromyalgia. The detailed recommendations can be found in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized primarily by chronic widespread pain (CWP) in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, and a heightened sensitivity to touch resulting in pain that can last for months.
Common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia include: Continue reading
EULAR Press interviews Cheryl Koehn on patient satisfaction and RA treatment
Cheryl Koehn discusses the importance of treatment conversations between patients and healthcare professionals.
This year’s European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR2016) highlighted patient-focused initiatives that aimed to:
- Improve the understanding of the patient perspective
- Encourage patient participation
- Optimize care of rheumatic diseases
One of the initiatives is the RA NarRAtive initiative – a patient survey fielded in 15 countries around the world and designed to evaluate the patient/healthcare professional relationship and communication and patients’ experience and satisfaction with treatment and disease management. To view the interview with Cheryl Koehn, please click here.
“Further understanding the responses from this survey will be important to facilitate communication between patients and healthcare professionals, with the ultimate aim of improving treatment outcomes,” said Ms. Cheryl Koehn, President of Arthritis Consumer Experts and member of the RA NarRAtive global advisory panel.
To learn more about the study, please click here to view the press release.