Breaking News: Diabetes, specialty drugs continue to drive growth in drug spending

May 18, 2011

For the fourth consecutive year, diabetes therapy topped the list of contributors to drug use trends in therapeutic categories, contributing 16.1% to overall growth in drug spending in 2010 due to an increasing number of patients, according to the recently released 2011 Medco Drug Trend Report, which tracks utilization and spending.

Rheumatic disease patients may require 2 doses of flu vaccine

April 08, 2011

Patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease may need 2 doses of adjuvanted split influenza A vaccine to elicit the same antibody response as healthy individuals, reported a recent Swiss study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Variations in DMARD receipt exist in Medicare managed care patients with RA

February 18, 2011

An analysis of data from more than 90,000 Medicare managed care enrollees who received care for rheumatoid arthritis found that more than one-third did not receive the recommended treatment with a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, and that receipt varied by demographic factors, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and health plan, according to a study in JAMA.

Early rheumatoid arthritis treatment with rheumatologist improves disease outcomes

January 01, 2011

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are seen by a rheumatologist within 12 weeks of symptom onset were likely to experience less joint destruction and have a higher chance of achieving disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug-free remission, according to a new study published December 2010 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Etanercept use associated with significant increases in height, weight, BMI in children with arthritis

January 01, 2011

Researchers from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have demonstrated that the tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitor etanercept is associated with significant increases in height, weight, and body mass index in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, according to a study recently published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Denosumab superior to zoledronic acid in delaying skeletal-related side effects in breast cancer patients

January 01, 2011

A newly approved drug, denosumab (Xgeva, Amgen), delays skeletal-related side effects for 5 months longer compared to zoledronic acid (Zometa and Reclast, Novartis) in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases, according to phase 3 trial results presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, San Antonio, Texas.

Zoledronic acid (Reclast): Bisphosphonate approved for the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women

July 01, 2009

New indication: Zoledronic acid (Reclast), a bisphosphonate, was approved on May 29, 2009, for the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women

Golimumab associated with risk of serious fungal infections

June 15, 2009

Centocor Ortho Biotech has issued a Dear Healthcare Professionals letter to remind healthcare providers that golimumab (Simponi), a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha blocker, is associated with a risk of serious fungal infections.

Osteoarthritis: A review of treatment options

May 01, 2009

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and the leading cause of disability in the United States, especially among older adults. This article reviews nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic approaches to management of OA of the knee and hip.

Anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibodies associated with increased risk of herpes zoster

March 01, 2009

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, investigators demonstrated an association between treatment with the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) adalimumab and infliximab and risk of herpes zoster events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).