Symptoms And Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by chronic, erosive polyarthritis and the presence of numerous autoantibodies in the serum and synovial fluid and membrane. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease that manifests in multiple joints of the body. The inflammation leads to erosions in the cartilage and bone and can cause joint deformity. Individuals with RA often experience pain and swelling of the joints. It was estimated in 2005 that 1.5 million people in the United States were afflicted with RA. There are three times as many women than men affected with RA (CDC, 2015). The etiology of RA is still unknown but is thought to be derived from a faulty immune response. There is no known cure for RA, but effective pharmaceuticals are available to patients treat RA and prevent joint deformities (CDC, 2015). These drugs include biological drugs (TNFα inhibitors), which are highly effective in some patients, but is also very expensive. RA patients are typically treated on a trial-and error basis, with dose escalation, introduction of additional therapies, and change of therapies if the patient does not respond to treatment or experiences adverse side effects (Lindstrom, 2010). Healthcare payers (government and insurance agencies) are interested in opportunities that allow patients to do something more economically favorable for cost containment. Payers are also interested in cost effectiveness of the treatment, where questions
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