Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune arthritis affecting more than 1.3 million U.S. citizens (American College of Rheumatology). More surprising is to know that around 75% of this affected population is women. Affecting the joints at any age, rheumatoid arthritis needs to be addressed early to avoid expensive joint replacement surgery. While it can affect any joint, small joints in hand and feet tend to be affected the most. Treatments available for rheumatoid arthritis aids to relive symptoms and improve the joint function. A comprehensive treatment for RA usually involves integration of patient education, exercise, medications, and surgery (occasionally).
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The rheumatoid arthritis treatment market can be analyzed based on the drug type, as follows:
Biological drugs: Monoclonal antibodies
Non-Biologicals: Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) , Corticosteroids, Analgesics, Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), IL-6 inhibitors, TNF inhibitors
NSAIDs and corticosteroid are also the first-line fast acting therapeutic drugs. Acetylsalicylate, naproxen, ibuprofen, etodolac, and diclofenac are the NSAIDs usually prescribed as first-line drugs for RA. These drugs reduce inflammation, and pain. Corticosteroid medications are given either orally or parenterally to reduce inflammation and restore joint mobility and function. These class of drugs are more potent than NSAIDs and therefore usually preferred a first line therapy by prescribers. The global rheumatoid arthritis treatment industry is expected to be driven considerably in near future by DMARDs that form second line slow-acting therapeutic drugs. Longer therapeutic regimen with these drugs increases cost of therapy and also promote remission of joint destruction and deformity. Methotrexate is the most commonly prescribed second line drug for RA and hence, occupies major share in the respective segment of global rheumatoid arthritis treatment market. Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) is the most potential FDA approved Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor available in the global market of rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
FDA approved biologic drugs include rituximab (Rituxan, MabThera), abatacept (Orencia), adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel), certolizumab (Cimzia), anakinra (Kineret), infliximab (Remicade), golimumab (Simponi), and tocilizumab (Actemra). Besides these approved drugs, biosimilars in pipeline would fuel the rheumatoid arthritis treatment market growth in near future.
Key statistics pertaining to the global rheumatoid arthritis treatment market:
Over time, there is damage to cartilage and mobility function of the affected joint in rheumatoid arthritis patient.
• Affects nearly 1.3 million U.S. population (RheumatoidArthritis.org)
• Most common in the age group of 30-60 years
• Global prevalence varies in the range of 0.3% to 1% (World Health Organization)
• Average annual cost of treatment may go up to US $20,000 (RheumatoidArthritis.org)
• According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with RA loose more workdays compared to those affected by any other medical condition
• According to a Harvard University study published in the Journal of Global Health (2017), prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in Southeast Asian countries was 0.4%, 0.42 in western Pacific region, and 0.37% in eastern Mediterranean countries
Global Key Players
Some of the major players in the global rheumatoid arthritis treatment market are Pfizer, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Abbvie, Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Merck & Co., Inc., Amgen, Inc.,
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