cyclingThe National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is delighted to unveil its latest initiative that will help those with the debilitating condition Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) understand more about the medicines that are used in the treatment and management of this incurable condition. They are launching the new resource at the British Society of Rheumatology this week 25-27 April.

Treatments for RA and the way they are used have changed considerably over recent years. NRAS believes it is essential that people living with the disease understand why certain medicines are used, when they are used and how they work to manage the condition.

Getting a diagnosis of any long-term condition is traumatic, but coupled with facing uncertainty about how it will be treated and what the future may hold for the individual and their families can be daunting. This new booklet is intended to alleviate some of the worry and stress related to taking medicines and to put things in perspective. RA is a complex disease and not everyone with RA can be treated in the same way; the disease is more akin to a syndrome than a disease, i.e. many different subtypes and levels of severity. That is why the medicines used in managing the condition are also complex and diverse – it is not a one size fits all.

Having a wide range of treatments to utilise is essential and understanding how and why they may be used is important for patients and their healthcare professionals. Up until now patients will have received information about their treatment in the form of varying different leaflets on each treatment – what this new NRAS booklet does is bring all that information together in one easy to read resource. The “Medicines in Rheumatoid Arthritis” booklet covers treatments used for managing pain, bridging therapy used during flare ups of the disease, use of steroids, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, biologics and biosimilars, as well as what is in the pipeline for future treatments.

Clare Jacklin, NRAS Director of External Affairs, commented: “For people living with RA, knowing that if one treatment doesn’t work for them that there are others available gives great hope. RA has a clear link to stress; this new and unique resource will remove some of the anxiety and worry about treatments. Another essential topic we cover in this booklet is adherence; the importance of taking treatment exactly as prescribed. We also explain why, even when someone begins to feel better, the importance of maintaining their treatment regime to ensure continued effectiveness and hopefully remission.”