Arthritis Medication Comparison, Expert Interviews: Rheum Round-up

This week, I spoke with Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH, study author and primary investigator, Professor Adjunct, Yale University School of Medicine, Rheumatology, Berkshire Health Systems, and W. Benjamin Nowell, PhD, study author, Director of Patient-Centered Research at CreakyJoints, and principal investigator of ArthritisPower, who discuss a study that evaluated the use of the Overall Patient EXperience measure (OPEX) to compare the desirability of treatments for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

“I think what was most surprising about the study is that this is such an important area for patients and that this is a relatively new way of looking at the results of trials,” Dr. Nowell shared. Added Dr. Fraenkel, “This is a good example of how important it is for us to listen to our patients to measure what’s important to them. It’s sometimes outside of the framework of things we’re used to measuring, but this really pushed us to try to figure out sort of a new approach to measuring outcomes in randomized trials that we wouldn’t have thought about really had we not heard our patients.”

I also interviewed John Botson, MD, RPh, CCD, who discusses a study that found movies and television shows released since the 1990s portray gout as a humorous and embarrassing disease caused by poor diet and excessive drinking, ultimately reinforcing the stigma and misconceptions about the serious and painful disease that impacts an estimated 9.2 million Americans.

How can things improve in the future? According to Dr. Botson, “We have to do a better job as clinicians and as educators. We really need to try to change that stigma that gout is not a humorous disease. It is, in fact, a systemic disease. It’s one that needs to be treated just like hypertension or high cholesterol or some of our other diseases that really are a genetic problem.”

Finally, a study found that among patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have achieved remission following combination methotrexate plus etanercept, monotherapy with etanercept was superior to methotrexate. “These data could inform decision‐making when withdrawal of therapy is being considered to reduce treatment burden in patients with well‐controlled RA,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion. The study was published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

In Case You Missed It:

Drs. Fraenkel and Nowell Discuss OPEX Measure To Compare Preferred Treatments in RA Patients

John Botson, MD, RPh, CCD, Talks About Gout Stereotypes in the Media

Etanercept vs. Methotrexate: How Do These Drugs Compare in RA Patients in Remission?