It’s Sunday just after 6am. Wet and cold outside. The house is quiet and it’s a great time to write.
I’m preparing a talk on rheumatoid arthritis and as I read through some source material, I’m contemplating how far we’ve come in improving the management of this disease. There’s still however a range of unmet needs or wants.
I think I know what my patients with rheumatoid want.
I can’t deliver that. No rheumatologist can.But we can and will clearly improve treatment. Here’s a wish list:
- To be able to achieve remission & sustain this remission in a higher percentage of patients.
- To get the vast majority of patients into a low disease activity state.
- In those who’ve achieved prolonged remission, to be able to discontinue the medication without a flare or return of disease.
- To completely prevent damage and deformity.
- To reduce the potential side effects of the medication we use. We want safer & safer options.
- To be able to individualise patient therapy. We would love to be able to confidently pick the very best treatment for each patient.
The goalposts have clearly changed. Things have improved for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and for the rheumatologists who treat this condition.
While I know that list is missing the "C" word, I hope you can take some comfort in the improvements to come. Please feel free to share your thoughts.