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Doctors Are Encouraged by Advances in Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

U.S. News & World Report—June 7, 2017

U.S. News & World Report interviewed HSS rheumatologist Susan M. Goodman, MD on drug therapy for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

When selecting the right drug combination for a person first diagnosed with RA, Dr. Goodman said "I – and most rheumatologists – usually start with methotrexate, frequently in combination with hydroxychloroquine, and progress to a biologic if there is not an adequate response. Methotrexate is really the anchor drug in RA, because of its relative efficacy, safety and tolerability."

However, Dr. Goodman discusses if the patient plans for pregnancy, and factors that into drug treatment. "The most important part of the treat to target strategy is discussions with the patient, which are ongoing," she said.

There have been advances for RA drug therapy, but Dr. Goodman noted that 30 percent of people with RA do not respond well to drug therapy.

She said "the best approach is frequent re-assessment [of disease activity] to quantify the patient's response".

Read the full article at health.usnews.com


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