Monday, 26 Sep 2016

Today's Headlines

FDA Approves New Amgen Biosimilar for Adalimumab

2016 has been a big year for biosimilars in rheumatology.

On Friday, the FDA announced the approval of Amgen's biosimilar version of Humira. The approval comes roughly 10 weeks after the FDA's Arthritis Advisory Committee unanimously voted, 26-0, in favor of approving ABP 501 based on clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and plaque psoriasis.

FDA Approves Stelara for Crohn's Colitis

The anti-IL-12/IL-23 inhibitor, Stelara (ustekinumab) has been FDA approved for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.  In the last week, the EMA's CHMP has recommended that the drug also be approved for use in Crohn's disease.

Today the FDA approved Stelara for use in adults with moderate to severely active Crohn's disease.

Restricting High Price Drugs - A Dangerous Trend?

Who makes billions in profits and millions in bonus monies? PBMs and insurers, thats who. This week United Healthcare and Express Scripts announced new plans to restrict patient and prescriber access to popular, expensive, albeit FDA-approved, medications and biologics. Who benefits, who loses?

Recognizing Arboviral Infections in Rheumatic Disease Patients.

What does sex have to do with it? Although the Zika virus infection is known to be sexually transmitted, the same cannot be claimed for Dengue or Chikungunya.

The Immunodeficiency and Autoimmunity Relationship

The world of PID (Primary immunodeficiency diseases) has changed remarkably over the past 5 years.

Wearable Activity Trackers Don't Improve Weight Loss

JAMA has reported the results of a 24-month trial showing that obese individuals on a long-term healthy diet and exercise program do not have significantly more weight loss from using a wearable device that tracks their activity. 

After the 1st TNF Inhibitor, a Non-TNF Biologic is Next Best

Most US rheumatologists use multiple TNF inhibitors before switching. A new French study suggests that "other-MOA", non-TNF biologics are more effective after failing a TNF inhibitor.

I once had a rheumatology fellow who declared he wanted to be “..a big fish” and added “ little p

This past weekend I was fortunate to lecture at the Harvard Advances in Rheumatology Course, where I reviewed the safety issues surrounding the use of biologic therapies. In discussing infections, cancer, cardiovascular events, etc., it became very clear to me that these problems, while worrisome, are often escalated in their importance – all at the expense of what is most dangerous: RA itself.
Through educational, administrative and legislative efforts, FSR works for the betterment of rheumatology practices and patients in Florida. Here's how.
Like the EULAR Congress of 2010, the 2016 version was in the giant ExCel center out in the Docklands area. The meeting rooms are cavernous, big as some basketball stadiums. The ExCel is so big that it is served by two stations of the DLR railroad and it is probably long enough to function as a runway with planes that fly overhead on the way to London City Airport. Ed Sullivan would have called the ExCel “really, really big.” Donald Trump would say it is “yuge.”
When I was just a lad in the 1950s, I used to enjoy a television quiz show called “Name that Tune.” This popular show, which was hosted by an amiable singer and comedian named George DeWitt, had a premise that was simple but appealing. The studio orchestra would start playing the notes of a song and the two contestants would compete to see who could identify the song first, running across the stage “to ring a bell and name that tune.”
You write the prescription, hand it to the patient and explain why it’s needed, how to take it and what the most common or most dangerous side effects might be. Comprehensive, reasonable, and professional. Certainly the patient should fill the prescription and start the drug.

Surely you've heard the phrase “eat the frog first”.