- There are now eight approved biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs), two biosimilars and one targeted synthetic DMARD in Australia with a number of new products and biosimilars in the pipeline.
- bDMARDs have excellent efficacy, especially when combined with traditional DMARDs, and a well characterised but manageable safety profile.
- These expanded therapeutic options have revolutionised patient care and made remission (including drug free remission) a realistic goal.
- Evidence of a “window of opportunity” that changes the long term phenotype of the disease has been well established, so therapy should be commenced as early as possible in the disease process and a shared care model between general practitioner and rheumatologist provides the best outcomes.
- While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, treatment has improved to the point where many patients can achieve a normal quality of life.
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