The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for information, and we’re staying on top of the latest arthritis-related news that could affect you. Here’s what you need to know about some of the headlines from this past month.
Coronavirus and Arthritis News
The new coronavirus pandemic has created a new normal for us and has changed the way you manage your arthritis. We’re keeping you updated on the latest developments, and talking to top experts to get credible, reliable information you need to know about COVID-19 and how it may impact you. Get the latest in our Care & Connect resource center.
FDA Warns Against Using Hydroxychloroquine to Treat COVID-19
Based on ongoing analysis and emerging scientific data, the FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA), to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients, when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible. This determination was made based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial in hospitalized patients, which found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery.
Louisiana Enacts Stronger Step Therapy Legislation
On June 11, 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 263 into law. The new law includes stronger step therapy protections. Building upon existing protections, the new law requires step therapy protocols, to be based on clinical review criteria and clinical practice guidelines. It also implements timelines in which health plans are required to respond to exception requests and allows for additional criteria in which patients are eligible for exceptions, among other changes.
New Study Finds Racial Bias Affects Algorithm-Based Health Care
The Arthritis Foundation’s Mandate for Action report shows that race is a factor in arthritis prevalence and treatment, and a new study shows that algorithms used by hospitals and physicians to guide the health care for tens of millions of Americans are affected by implicit racism, which often results in Black people receiving inferior care. The new study finds that algorithms used for medical decisions, from cardiology to obstetrics, are tainted by implicit racial bias and adversely affect the quality of care Black patients receive. Even before the new analysis, some hospitals and specialty groups were questioning the algorithms.
In Other Arthritis News
FDA Approves New Indication to Treat Active Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis
Cosentyx® (secukinumab), by Novartis, has recently been approved by the FDA for the treatment of active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA). Cosentyx has been studied clinically for more than 13 years. The medicine is backed by robust investigational evidence, including five years of clinical data supporting long-term safety and efficacy across moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Taltz® by Lilly Has Also Been Approved to Treat nr-axSpA
The FDA also approved Taltz® (ixekizumab) 80mg injection for the treatment of active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in patients with objective signs of inflammation. This is the fifth approval for Taltz, which was first approved by the FDA in 2016 for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (PsO) in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. The FDA also approved Taltz for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in 2017.
Ilaris (canakinumab) Injection for the Treatment of Active Still’s Disease
Ilaris (canakinumab) injection has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Active Still’s disease, including Adult-Onset Still’s Disease (AOSD). This medication was previously approved for Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) in patients aged 2 years and older. Ilaris works by suppressing inflammation in patients with this autoinflammatory disorder.