Pharmaceuticals in the Pipeline - Anti-rheumatic Drugs
In 1998, the National Institutes of Health estimated that approximately 40 million Americans have arthritis or some other type of rheumatic condition. As baby boomers age, that number is expected to swell to more than 59 million by the year 2020. Arthritis affects women more frequently than men, and the estimated costs of the disease total approximately $65 billion in medical care and indirect expenses. As this debilitating condition continues to impact the lives of the millions of those afflicted as well as their families, scientists continue to seek new ways of providing relief from the chronic, unremitting pain, and disability that accompany this set of disorders. This article reviews pharmaceutical treatments for painful arthritic conditions. Recently approved treatments, such as Mobic (meloxicam), Vioxx (rofecoxib), Enbrel (enteracept), Remicade (infliximab), Lodine XL (etodolac), and Arava (leflunomide), are indicated for relief of the signs and symptoms of arthritis. Pharmaceuticals, including valdecoxib, IL-1ra, sTNF-rI, SB 242235, Cathepsin S and Bay 12-9566, are currently in clinical trials.
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