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RheumNow Week in Review – 15 July 2016

Dr. Jack Cush reviews highlights from this week's rheumatology news on

  1. FDA Approves Xiidra (Lifitegrast), an LFA-1 agonits for Dry Eyes. 
  2. FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee Votes 26-0 to Recommend Approval of Adalimumab Biosimilar (Amgens ABP-501).  
  3. Sandoz Etanercept Biosimilar (GP-2015) Unanimously (20-0) Voted for Approval by FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee.  
  4.  FDA Says Cryotherapy, not approved, lacks evidence and poses risks.
  5. Vagal Stimulation Decreases Proinflammatory Cytokine Production and Rheumatoid Disease Activity.  
  6. Lupus panniculitis appears as indurated nodules/plaques with lipoatrophy, usually over the proximal extremities & trunk. Important to get a deep Biopsy.  Usual treatments include hydroxychloroquine, steroid, dapsone, others reviewed.
  7. In 428 SpA pts, BMI (obesity) had no effect on ASDAS. BMI weakly correlates with CRP, other PRO's.
  8. Small study of Bactrim in GPA (Wegeners) shows 25% relapse w/ continued Rx vs 45% relapse with Bactrim withdrawal.
  9. German RABBIT registry study >13K pts shows an increased risk of lower GI perforations with Actemra (2.7/1000PY), with a four fold higher risk than other therapys.  Nearly 25% of such patients died.
  10. Prevalence of gout increasing in EU from 1.7% to 2.5%; in the US to 4%. Gout is becoming epidemic.
  11. 100k German RA compared to 500k controls: RA patients were vaccinated more; but more pneumonia hospitalizations were seen in regions with low or no vaccination
  12. 234 RA patients treated with Rituxan for a mean of 28 mos. Showed a retention rate of 57%. Discontinuatoins were associated with higher age, greater swollen joint counts, lack of concomitant MTX use.


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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