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Implementing Smoking Cessation Programs

Apr 07, 2021

Rheumatologists are keen to the effects of smoking (increased arthritis risk, worse outcomes, blunted DMARD responses, added cardiopulmonary risks), but often do not have the resources or plan to encourage or implement smoking cessation from the rheumatology clinic. A new study details the

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Rheumatology Care Derailed by COVID-19

Apr 06, 2021

A survey study from the  ArthritisPower PPRN or CreakyJoints database shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic patient care was substantially affected in unforeseen ways.

Data from the ArthritisPower Patient-Powered Research Network and CreakyJoints patient community were gathered by

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US Senate Introduces the Safe Step Act

Apr 01, 2021

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) today commended leaders in the United States Senate for introducing the bipartisan Safe Step Act of 2021 (S. 464), new legislation that would place reasonable limits on insurer use of step therapy. This troubling practice requires patients to first

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Are You a Super Rheum?

Mar 18, 2021

Several weeks ago, at the Rheumatology Winter Clinical Symposia, an interesting debate between Drs. Orrin Troum and Marty Bergman hashed over the concept of whether rheumatologists should sub-specialize with a practice, research or career devoted to one disease ("Super Rheum"), or be "selective

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Actemra FDA Approved for Systemic Sclerosis Interstitial Lung Disease

Mar 08, 2021

Genentech announced Thursday that the US Food and Drug Administration approved tocilizumab (Actemra) for the treatment of Systemic Sclerosis-associated Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD), specifically indicated for slowing the rate of decline in pulmonary function in adults SSc-ILD.

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RheumNow Podcast – Sweet Lies or Hard Truths? (2.26.2021)

Feb 26, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews and discusses the news and Journal reports from the past week on

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Low Persistence of Biologics in Psoriatic Arthritis

Feb 02, 2021

A longitudinal observational cohort study of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients treated with biologic therapy finds relatively low persistence of selected biologic therapy in PsA patients

Analysis of PsA patients (n=2301) from a large healthcare provider database, seen between 2002

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One-Third Rheumatoid Risk from Lifestyle

Feb 01, 2021

Analysis of the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data suggests that one-third of the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the USA is attributable smoking, obesity and alcohol intake.

NHANES was used to determine the prevalence of lifestyle exposures

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RheumNow Podcast – Rheumatology Burnout (1.29.2021)

Jan 28, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews this past week's journal articles and news features on Colchicine, vaccine rollout, risk of RA in endometriosis patients, tREACH trial, lupus nephritis news, rheumatology burnout and more.

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JAK Inhibitor Misses Endpoint in Safety Study. Now What?

MedPage Today
Jan 27, 2021

Pfizer announced results Wednesday from its FDA-mandated postmarketing safety study of tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and they don't bode well for the drug and possibly others in its class.

Compared with patients taking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, those assigned to tofacitinib (5

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Rheumatologists Rank 2nd in Physician Burnout

Jan 26, 2021

The 2021 Medscape Survey on Physician burnout ranks rheumatology second, just behind Critical Care medicine.

The survey included over 12,000 physcians from 20 specialties. While 42% of MDs claimed to be burnt-out, Rheumatologists claimed this 50% of the time. The top 3 this year were Critical

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Protective Effects of Colchicine in Non-Hospitalized COVID-19

Jan 25, 2021

A press release from Montreal Heart Institute announced that the COLCORONA clinical trial provided evidence of the protective effect of colchicine; demonstrating a 21% reduced risk of death or hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 compared to placebo. COLCORONA trial was a contact-less,

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Voclosporin FDA Approved for Lupus Nephritis

Jan 24, 2021

On January 22nd, the FDA approved voclosporin (Lupkynis) for use in adults with active lupus nephritis; voclosporin is a calcineurin-inhibitor immunosuppressant indicated for use in combination with a background immunosuppressive therapy. FDA approval was based on data from the pivotal AURORA

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Inequities in Telemedicine During COVID-19

MedPage Today
Jan 19, 2021

Health equity in the telehealth age has assumed added importance since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that about 21 million Americans don't have access to the Internet in their homes. Other sources estimate it is closer to 162 million. However,

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Travel During COVID-19 Pandemic

Jan 18, 2021

The CDC has addressed the effects and the issues of domestic and international travel on its website.  Below is a sampling of key advice.

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Copay Assistance Programs Help Patients but Confuse Them Too

MedPage Today
Jan 15, 2021

"If you're having trouble paying for your medications, Drug Company X may be able to help."

You may have heard sentences like this at the end of pharmaceutical ads on television, and some clinicians may wonder what exactly the companies do to help their patients. The help usually

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2020 Rheumatology Year in Review

Jan 14, 2021

2020 was historic, memorable and game-changing. Under the cloud of COVID-19, there were many significant and memorable advances and setbacks for the rheumatology world. In our accounting of most read articles for 2020, (not surprisingly) 17/20 were COVID-related. Below, are our top news items

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Delays in Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Jan 12, 2021

The diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis (and anklylosing spondylitis) (axSpA) is often delayed and usually not diagnosed by rheumatologists; a recent metanalysis shows that longer delays were attributable to lower education levels, younger age at onset and absence of extra-articular

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Hydroxychloroquine Shortage During COVID-19

Jan 12, 2021

According to a recent report in Annals of Rheumatic Disease, public enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) created significant access issues for rheumatic patients in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite public, political and quasi research evidence supporting

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Medicare's 'Most Favored Nation' Drug-Pricing Rule in Limbo

MedPage Today
Jan 08, 2021

The fate of the Trump administration's "most favored nation" (MFN) rule for bringing down prescription drug prices remains uncertain as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to assume office later this month.

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RheumNow Podcast – Lights, Camera, Zoom (1.8.2021)

Jan 08, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news, journal articles and favorite blogs from this past week on

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Adherence to Hydroxychloroquine Lowers Lupus Mortality

Jan 07, 2021

A lupus cohort study from British Columbia, Canada has shown that medication adherence with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is associated with a 71% to 83% lower mortality. 

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EULAR Guidance on Patient Adherence to Meds

Jan 06, 2021

Non-adherence may be the single most untold risk to suboptimal outcomes in the care of musculoskeletal disease.  It has been estimated that 30-80% of patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are nonadherent to prescribed regimens.  EULAR has commissioned a task force to

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Hello 2021 and new drug price hikes - on average a 4.2% hike in over 500 drugs (past years saw an avg hike ~5%). Increases include Cosentyx 7%, Humira & Rinvoq 7.4%, Orencia 4.5%, Taltz 5%, Actemra 3%, Benlysta 5%, Xeljanz 4.9% & Cimzia 4%

Dr. John Cush @RheumNow( View Tweet )

Jan 06, 2021

Telemedicine Less Utilized in the South and Urban Areas

Jan 04, 2021

MMWR has reported on a July 2020 survey study from 1,009 Health Resources and Services Administration–funded health centers showing that urban Health centers were more likely to provide virtual visits than those in rural areas.

Telehealth has expanded healthcare access, especially in

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