Rheumatology Advances to Know From 2015

Kevin Deane, MD, PhD


December 23, 2015

In This Article

Drug Costs, Guidelines, and New Treatments

During 2015, the rise in drug costs was perhaps most notable in the press for the antimicrobial drug daraprim, the price of which increased ~4000%.[15] However, the prices of many other drugs have also increased dramatically. For rheumatologists, perhaps the most impactful increase in drug price was for hydroxychloroquine, for which in some regions, drug supply was reduced and prices increased.[16]

There are many reported reasons for these increased drug prices, including drug shortages and price manipulation.[17] The government has noted these increased rates and is planning further investigations.[18] The long-term impact of these issues on delivery of care in rheumatic diseases will need to be followed closely.

New Guidelines for Disease Management

In 2015, several new guidelines for management of rheumatic diseases were published—specifically, for ankylosing spondylitis,[19] RA,[6] and polymyalgia rheumatica.[20] In addition, guidelines were published regarding the treatment of ocular symptoms in Sjögren syndrome and immunoglobulin G4-related disease.[21,22] These represent state-of-the-art management for these diseases and will be important resources for the rheumatology community.


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