The Handoff: Your Week in Rheumatology News – 12/9/16

–PNS Pharma reported on outcomes from clinical trials of biosimilar drugs for infliximab (Remicade®, Janssen), noting that 2 biosimilars are currently undergoing phase III trials and may be commercially available in the next 5-8 years.

–Numerous unexpected adverse consequences have stemmed from the widespread use of electronic health records, from problems with the technology’s implementation to “inadvertent disclosure of large amounts of patient-specific information.”

–Speaking of medical technology: the widespread use of telemedicine has resulted in improved patient outcomes, especially in geographic areas lacking in specialty physicians. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center chatted with Rheumatology Advisor about the practice.

–A phase II trial of guselkumab (Janssen), a fully human interleukin (IL)-23 monoclonal antibody, showed promising safety and efficacy results for the treatment of patients with psoriatic arthritis.

–Editors of JAMA Internal Medicine have put out a call for original research, focused on physicians’ work life, well-being, and professional identity, ahead of the launch of their series “Physician Work Environment and Well-Being.”

–Researchers have found that 300 mg pregabalin (Lyrica®, Pfizer) can effectively improve function and alleviate pain in patients with hand osteoarthritis.

–A systematic review and meta-analysis of 5 studies, including 23,348 patients, published in The Bone and Joint Journal, found that bariatric surgery prior to total hip or knee arthroplasty does not significantly reduce complication rates or improve clinical outcomes—contrary to previous beliefs.

–Pain might be difficult to describe, but physicians agree: it’s time for a revised definition. An official decision, requiring a consensus agreement, may take several years to become universally accepted. 

–Researchers conducting the DESIR study ( Identifier: NCT01648907) have identified 5 disease activity trajectories for axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA), suggesting that up to one-third of patients may be undertreated.

–Erika Darrah, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine discusses the potential for future improvements in rheumatoid arthritis disease activity monitoring in the video below.

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