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A Better Path to Rheumatoid Arthritis

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At Axium Healthcare Pharmacy, Inc., we believe in a better quality of life for patients and their healthcare partners when treating and managing the most complex conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Through the provision of specialty products combined with personalized guidance and support from clinical experts, our patients, providers and partners have the best chance of achieving successful therapy management. With information and a helping hand, we make the path to better healthcare a little easier to navigate for everyone.

Specialty Products + Personalized Guidance + Unmatched Expertise = Improved Outcomes

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune condition, is a chronic inflammatory polyarthritis (arthritis that affects five or more joints). An estimated 1.5 million adults in the United States are afflicted with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease which manifests itself in multiple joints of the body. The inflammatory process primarily affects the lining of the joints (synovial membrane), but can also affect other organs. The inflamed synovium leads to erosions of the cartilage and bone and sometimes joint deformity. Pain, swelling, and redness are common joint manifestations. Although the causes are unknown, RA is believed to be the result of a faulty immune response. RA can begin at any age and is associated with fatigue and prolonged stiffness after rest.

Rheumatoid Arthritis follows three (3) courses:

  • Monocyclic: Have one episode which ends within 2-5 years of initial diagnosis and did not reoccur. This may result from early diagnosis and/or aggressive treatment.

  • Polycyclic: The levels of disease activity fluctuate over the course of the condition.

  • Progressive: RA continues to increase in severity and is unremitting.

Incidence:

  • The CDC reports data that indicates in 1995-2007, 41 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed with RA each year. Incidence rose with age and peaked among people ages 65-74 years.

What causes RA?

According to the CDC, the cause of RA is unknown. Many cases are believed to result from an interaction between genetic factors and environmental exposures. These are the most common risk factors for RA:

  • Socio-demographics

  • Genetics

  • Smoking

  • Reproductive and breast feeding history

  • Oral contraceptives (OC): Modest to moderate decrease in risk of RA
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Evidence of a link with using HRT and the onset of RA
  • Live birth history: Studies show an increased risk if a woman has never had a live birth
  • Breastfeeding: Recent population based studies have found that RA is less common among women who breastfeed
  • Menstrual history: Women with irregular menstrual cycles or early menopause have an increased risk of RA. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of RA

What about RA treatment?

In the past, treatment started with corticosteroids/non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Patients who do not respond well to NSAIDs may be moved to non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Patients who do not respond well to, or show little benefit from, NSAIDS or non-biologic DMARDs may eventually be moved to biologic DMARDs

What to expect?

To prevent and/or control joint damage, loss of function and have successful pain management, several approaches should be utilized including medication. They are:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Exercise

How a specialty pharmacy can help?

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Axium Healthcare Pharmacy’s RAVisions® program sets a clear path to caring, compassionate RA therapy management and support.

Through RAVisions® we are able to provide RA patients, providers and partners with the necessary coordination of care vital to achieving successful treatment outcomes. By utilizing Axium’s expert patient care team comprised of Doctors of Pharmacy, registered pharmacists and nurses, reimbursement specialists and dedicated Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs), Axium is able to offer each and every patient and partner with high-quality, personalized care, ongoing patient evaluation and clinical support including frequent patient follow-up and continual education about their RA treatment.

Simply stated, we are your helping hand. We’re with you every step of the way on the path to better healthcare.