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Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapeutics in Philippines
Date:4/6/2009

MANILA, Philippines, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic disease or an autoimmune disorder in which the body's defense system attacks the joints through the thin layer of cells called the synovium that lines and lubricates the joints. The most visible symptoms of RA are swollen joints and crippling stiffness, particularly of the hands and feet. It can cause fatigue, fever, loss of appetite and also impedes mobility and quality of life. In the Philippines, Serologic tests, Synovial fluid tests and X-rays are conducted to confirm the diagnosis of RA.

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the leading causes of significant debility among Filipinos, apart from asthma and cancer and about four times as many women as men have this disease. The prevalence is currently estimated to be approximately 0.06 percent National Nutrition & Health Survey (NNHeS) and is expected to increase to 0.07 percent by 2012. The treatment options are limited to conventional drugs such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as newer medications such as biologics are well beyond the affordability of the patients.

Frost & Sullivan, Research Analyst Sushma Rajan says, "The diagnosis of RA is based on clinical examination of symptoms, patient history, as well as some blood tests. RA cannot be confirmed or excluded by any one test. The most common test is rheumatoid factor (RF). The other supporting tests are: anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and X-ray."

"Recent work productivity studies have confirmed that better disease awareness and availability of treatment options have resulted in fewer patients ceasing to work and more patients reporting
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan
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