Friday, 23 Mar 2018


Biosimilar Reports - February 2018

Biosimilars command a great deal of research, development and attention given the promise of significant cost savings and potentially wider use for those in need.  The global biosimilar market is expected to reach $36 billion USD by 2022. Here is this month's roundup of clinical trials and journal articles, overviews/reviews, practice and physician attitudes, and regulatory and pharma news - all on the subject of biosimilars.

Future Shortage of Rheumatologists in the USA

In Arthritis & Rheumatology, the American College of Rheumatology updates their projections for the rheumatology workforce between 2015 and 2030, noting that despite an aging population and an increase in the rheumatology fellowship positions, there will be a significant shortage of rheumatologists by 2030.

Top 10 MMWR CDC Reports from 2017

Here are the 10 most talked about MMWR Reports of 2017. 

Methotrexate May Help in Chronic Chikungunya Arthritis

Methotrexate may provide benefits in treatment of the chronic arthritis that can persist following acute chikungunya virus infection, but definitive evidence remains lacking, researchers reported.

The RheumNow Week in Review - 2 February 2018

Dr. Jack Cush reviews highlights, news and recent research published this week on This week's report includes rising epidemiologic numbers, vaccine updates for H. Zoster and influenza, narcotics in spondylitis, overuse of OTC NSAIDs, problems with ILD in systemic sclerosis and PM/DM and an inspirational story of the woman who discovered allopurinol.

Poor Prognosis of the MDA-5 Antibody in Dermatomyositis

Researchers from Hong Kong assessed the clinical associations seen with the anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 antibody (anti-MDA5 Ab) assay in consecutive patients with dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM).

Twenty patients with either DM or PM who were followed in the Rheumatology Clinic of Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong were recruited and underwent testing for the anti-MDA-5 antibody.

Opioid Use in Ankylosing Spondylitis

A prospective study has shown that ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients often require narcotic analgesics to manage pain unresponsive to antiinflammatory therapies.

AS patients (n=706) were serially assessed (every 6 months) and outcome measures were collected, including disease activity and functional measures (BASDAI, BASFI), along with radiographic outcomes.  Investigators specifically looked at opioid usage.

Inefficacy of Immunosuppressive Treatments in Systemic Sclerosis with ILD

EUSTAR study results published in Arthritis Research & Therapy show the current state of immunosuppressive use in systemic sclerosis patients with interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) to be ill-defined, but that liberal use of glucocorticoids (GC) in SSc-ILD should be discouraged.

ACR Urges Reforms by HHS

Dr. David Daikh, president of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has written a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to their Request for Information on Promoting Health Care Choice and Competition Across the United States.  

In this letter he addresses key concerns of US Rheumatologists, inluding:

ACIP Guidelines on H. Zoster Vaccination Updated

The ACIP has discussed and analyzed its VZV vaccination policy to ensure safety and reduce disease burden. This report serves as a supplement to the 2008 Prevention of Herpes Zoster Recommendations.

Herpes zoster is a localized, usually painful, cutaneous eruption resulting from reactivation of latent varicella zoster virus (VZV). Herpes zoster is common: approximately one million cases occur each year in the United States.

ESRD Death Declines in Vasculitis Patients


In the past 2 decades, mortality from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) among U.S. patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) has declined significantly, a nationwide study found.

Less Cardiovascular Risk with Abatacept in Rheumatoid Arthritis

A claims data analysis shows that abatacept use in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients yielded a modestly reduced cardiovascular risk when compared to patients receiving TNF inhibitors (TNFi).