Drug Delivery

New RA drugs and pipeline developments to watch

While there have been many therapeutic advancements in drugs for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it is still a condition without a cure. The primary aim of medications for RA thus becomes a slowing down of the progression of the disease or reaching remission by minimizing joint pain and improving quality of life.

A range of medications with different mechanisms of action compete in the RA marketplace, starting with the tried-and-true, anchor product methotrexate. Approved in 1988 to treat RA, it is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), which suppresses the immune system and can be even more efficacious when combined with other RA medications.

A trio of biologics hit the market around the turn of the century—Humira (adalimumab), Remicade (infliximab) and Enbrel (etanercept), all TNF (tumor necrosis factor) inhibitors in 1998, 1999 and 2002, respectively. TNFs suppress the physiologic response to tumor necrosis factor, which is part of an inflammatory response.

JAK inhibitors—the first one approved for RA patients was Xeljanz (tofacitinib) from Pfizer in 2012—have picked up the slack for some patients who have an inadequate response to DMARDs.


Read More http://managedhealthcareexecutive.modernmedicine.com/managed-healthcare-executive/news/new-ra-drugs-and-pipeline-developments-watch

By Mari Edlin

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