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) blockbuster Enbrel drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis, which generated sales of $4.23B last year, is
no more effective
than a combination of three generic treatments, a study shows. While a regimen that includes Enbrel costs $25,000 a year per patient, the "triple therapy" costs just $1,000. The research didn't examine similar drugs from AbbVie (
) or Johnson & Johnson (
), although many doctors consider them to be equivalent to Enbrel. Despite the study, researchers feel that the branded treatments might be too well ensconced to be quickly replaced.
View news story
I have rheumatoid arthritis and started on methotrexate (one of the generic combos). In less than three months I was completely disabled and my doctor added Humira. It was a miracle drug for me and worked well for a year. Then I switched to Enbrel (still used methotrexate) and added sulfasalazine (one of the generic combos). This combo with Enbrel worked for a year and a half. I've tried plaquinel (one of the generic combos) and had debilitating nausea, not to mention being afraid of the risk to my vision that comes with the side effect of this lovely generic.
Today I get an infusion of Actemra once every 4 weeks. I've been on this biologic for six months and no longer need to take methotrexate or sulfasalazine. Do I miss the mouth ulcers at a rate of two to four per week?? NO. Do I miss only being able to have a glass or two of wine on special occasions?? NO. Do I miss the nausea and fatigue that come with sulfasalazine and methotrexate?? NO. Oh and did I mention if I missed my skin just drying up, and my hair thinning and wondering how the heck my wonderful pharmacist was going to swing another miracle to get me injectable methotrexate which has been in shortage for years?? NO Nope Not even. Do I miss my liver enzymes going up and wbc going down? Hell NO. But according to this article I should give up those spendy drugs that gave me my life back, drugs that my health insurance pays for because I paid for a policy (and continue to pay) for a good policy so that I can have a choice in my options for this disease, so I don't have to take a handful of pills three times a day, so I don't have to use a walker to save $24000. Hmmmm what do I choose...... A walker, inability to turn door knobs or braid my hair, and lets not forget the horrible unbelievable pain....... or choose a relatively normal life thanks to a spendy biologic drug.
There are other studies that clearly show that triple therapy with generic dmards does not hold back joint erosions as well as biologics over one year of time. Go put that in your study! I choose life.
Jun 13 03:34 AM
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