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

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: anticyclic 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 lower impact of their disease on work as well as family and social activities," she further elaborates.

Methotrexate (MTX), a DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) has been traditionally used to treat RA. It is also the most used form of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis, especially with generic forms available. Currently, combination therapies between DMARDs and NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs) are commonly practiced.

DMARDs capture the majority of the RA therapeutics market owing to the availability of reimbursement for treatment with these drugs and their easy availability over the counter. DMARDs are expected to retain majority share in the forecast period as well.

According to Rajan, "Biologics are used in combination with DMARDs for moderate to severe RA patients. Some biologic drugs are currently reimbursed, if treated in government hospitals. Physicians opine that with more drugs brought into the hospital formularies, the usage of biologics would increase for treatment earlier in the disease."

Physicians consider the efficacy of medication and minimum side effects to be the key factors while considering the choice of treatment for RA patients.

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