In Other News

Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021

PBS listing recommendations for IFX SC and guselkumab

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has recommended the listing of subcutaneous infliximab for the treatment of severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as an alternative to the IV form.  However the PBAC did not  recommend PBS listing of IFX SC for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), severe active psoriatic arthritis (PsA), noting there were no clinical trials assessing the efficacy of IFX SC in patients with these conditions, and the data from RA and IBD patients could not be extrapolated to these conditions. The PBAC also recommended PBS listing for guselkumab for severe PsA

Mission Accomplished by COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance

The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance (GRA) has achieved its initial objectives with an online registry of data that has provided a good picture of how patients with rheumatic disease fare with COVID-19, a new review has concluded. There has been extensive use of the GRA data in the clinic and also to try and understand the mechanisms of disease and opportunities for drug repurposing, it found. However it said there were still many unanswered questions and emerging challenges in areas such as vaccinations and post-COVID-19 syndromes, which the GRA will continue to pursue as the pandemic evolves.

AI helps diagnosis of hand arthritis

A novel AI-based screening  tool can accurately differentiate  between osteoarthritis  and inflammatory arthritis and may help streamline referrals to specialist clinics, according to WA researchers.  In a pilot study involving 280 patients with hand arthritis, their system combining image‐processing and a patient questionnaire with applied machine‐learning methods was able to predict inflammatory arthritis with an accuracy, precision, recall and specificity of 96·8%, 97·2%, 98·6% and 90·5% respectively. The study authors led by Dr Mark Reed from Hollywood Rheumatology said early arthritis clinics have been shown to improve clinical outcomes and reduce the use of biologic treatments, although about only half the patients referred have inflammatory arthritis.

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