Management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Latin America: a consensus position paper from Pan-American League of Associations of Rheumatology and Grupo Latino Americano De Estudio De Artritis Reumatoide.
ABSTRACT A consensus meeting of representatives of 18 Latin-American and Caribbean countries gathered in Reñaca, Chile, for 2 days to identify problems and provide recommendations for the care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Latin America, a region where poverty and other health priorities make the efforts to provide effective and high quality care difficult. This report includes recommendations for health professionals, patients, and health authorities in Latin America, with an emphasis on education and therapeutic issues.
Fifty-one rheumatologists (list available only online on the JCR website) from 18 Latin-American and Caribbean countries with a special interest in RA participated in the consensus meeting. Participants were experts identified and appointed by the National Societies of Rheumatology affiliated with the Pan-American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR) and by the Grupo Latino Americano De Estudio de Artritis Reumatoide (GLADAR)-an independent group of Latin American rheumatologist researchers were also invited to the meeting. Eight topics were identified as priorities: patient, community and allied health professional education, health policy and decision making, programs for early detection and appropriate treatment of RA, role of classic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), role of biologic therapy, and drug safety surveillance. To reach consensus, a survey with questions relevant to the topic of interest was sent to all participants before the meeting. During a 2 day meeting, the answers of the survey were reviewed and discussed by each group, with final recommendations on action items.
The specific topic of the survey was answered by 86% of the participants and 68% of them answered the entire survey. It was agreed that RA and rheumatic diseases which are currently not but should be public health priorities in Latin America, because of their prevalence and impact on quality of life.
Strategic areas identified as priorities for our region included: early diagnosis and access to care by multidisciplinary teams, creation of databases to identify infections with the use of biologic agents in RA which are relevant to Latin America, and overall efforts to improve the care of RA patients in accordance with international standards. Implementation of educational programs aimed to improve self-management for patients with RA was also considered crucial.
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ABSTRACT: Previous global studies examined etanercept (ETN) + methotrexate (MTX) for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but included few subjects from Latin America. The objective of this study was to compare the safety and efficacy of ETN + MTX versus a standard-of-care disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) + MTX in Latin American subjects with moderate to severe active RA despite MTX therapy. This open-label, active-comparator study (NCT00848354) randomized subjects 2:1 to ETN 50 mg/wk + MTX or investigator-selected DMARD (sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine) + MTX (ETN + MTX, n = 281; DMARD + MTX, n = 142). The primary end point was the proportion achieving American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 50 at week 24. Secondary end points included ACR20/70, disease activity score (DAS) 28 measures, and mean change in modified total Sharp score. Patient-reported outcomes were the Health Assessment Questionnaire, 36-item Short-Form, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment: RA (WPAI:RA), and Caregiver Burden and Resource Utilization. Statistical analyses were stratified by country; χ test and analysis of covariance were used. Adverse events were monitored. More subjects achieved ACR50 at week 24 with ETN + MTX versus DMARD + MTX (62% vs 23%, respectively), in addition to secondary end points (P < 0.0001 for all); mean change in modified total Sharp score was lower for the ETN + MTX group (0.4 vs 1.4, respectively; P = 0.0270). Improvements in patient-reported outcomes favored ETN + MTX for Health Assessment Questionnaire, 36-item Short-Form, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for depression, WPAI:RA, and Caregiver Burden and Resource Utilization emergency department visits for RA (P < 0.01). Overall, adverse events were similar between the groups (69% vs 68%,); serious adverse events were also similar (4% vs 1%). The rate of overall infections was higher with ETN + MTX (38%) than DMARD + MTX (22%, P ≤ 0.001). Consistent with published global data among RA patients with inadequate response to MTX, adding ETN to MTX demonstrated better efficacy than adding one other conventional DMARD to MTX. No new safety issues were observed. ETN + MTX provided favorable benefit-risk profile among RA patients from LA region.Journal of clinical rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic & musculoskeletal diseases 12/2013; · 1.19 Impact Factor